Derry hurlers progress to semis after one-point win

Derry 4-10 London 3-12

Derry 4-10 London 3-12

Derry booked their place in the Ulster Hurling Championship semi-final with a narrow one-point win over London at Casement Park.

London made a sensational start with a Kevin McMullan goal after just 35 seconds, but Derry recovered, and hit back with a goal in the eighth through Michael Kirkpatrick, who finished to the net from close range after skipper Liam Hinphey had delivered long into the danger area.

London responded with points from Ciaran O’Dwyer and Martin Finn, but the Oak Leafers got in for a second goal on 15 minutes.

The London defence failed to clear a sideline cut form Ruairi Convery, and Donal Leahy nipped in to slot home

Finn contributed five points for the Exiles, but they trailed by 2-7 to 1-6 at the break.

Derry added a third goal through Eugene McGuckin a minute after the restart, but McMullan’s second goal narrowed the gap to two points.

It was corner back Eamon Phelan who brought the sides level midway through the second half, but once again, Derry dug deep, and crafted scores for Ruairi Convery, Oisin McCloskey and Paddy McCloskey.

Still, they were hanging on to a narrow two points lead as the game slipped into stoppage time, but substitute Sam Dodds sealed it with a stoppage time goal, and Finn’s late strike came too late to rescue London.

Derry scorers: E McGuckin 1-2, S Dodds, D Leahy, M Kirkpatrick 1-0 each, R Convery 0-3 (2f, 1 pen), O McCloskey 0-3, 1f, 1 ‘65’), P McCloskey, A Kelly 0-1 each.

London scorers: K McMullan 2-1, M Finn 1-8 (6f, 2 ’65’), E Phelan, C O’Dwyer,, T Twomey 0-1 each.

Derry: D McDermott, R McCloskey, P McGlade, S McNicholl, P O’Kane, S McCullagh, M Craig, K Hinphey, O McCloskey, C Murphy, D Leahy, E McGuckin, A Kelly, M Kirkpatrick, R Convery.

Subs: S Henry for R McCloskey, S Dodds for Kelly, M Scullen for Kirkpatrick, P McCloskey for Murphy

London: P Gannon, C Burke, K Forde, E Phelan, F McMahon, N Healy, K Kennedy, S Fox, N O’Grady, M Mythen, C O’Dwyer, T Twomey, H Vaughan, M Finn, K McMullan.

Subs: E Morrissey for Twomey, N Cody for Fox

Referee: T McIntyre (Antrim)

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