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Ulster SFC: Derry undone by slow first half performance

Derry's wait for an Ulster championship win continues

Ulster SFC: Derry v Armagh

Ciaran McFaul up against Jamie Clarke (Pic: David Fitzgerald / Sportsfile)

ULSTER SFC QUARTER-FINAL

Armagh 0-17
Derry 0-15

A lacklustre first half came back to bite Derry on Sunday afternoon at Celtic Park, leaving themselves too much to do to come back from a six-point deficit.

Derry's pursuit for a first Ulster win since 2015 continues, but allowing Armagh too much room in the first half was their wrongdoing.  Some the Armagh scores came under no pressure, which won't have pleased boss Rory Gallagher.

It was tit for tat in the early stages, but points from the impressive Rory Grugan (2), Jamie Clarke and Jarlath Óg Burns put them 0-6 to 0-2 ahead at the first water break and on the way to a six-point lead, 0-11 to 0-5.

Derry came out with more vigour at that start of the second half.  A monster McGuigan free and a point for Ethan Doherty, one of eight championship debutants, cut the gap to four and the game began to turn.

Armagh went down to 14 men when Clarke was black-carded, but Derry didn't capitalise on it.  Sweet scores from McFaul and Loughlin were not enough to help the home side swing the game.

Blaine Hughes' kick-outs over midfield always had Armagh on the front foot.  Derry did get it back to a point, before Rian O'Neill's free, with the last kick, booked Armagh's semi-final spot with Donegal. 

ARMAGH: Blaine Hughes; Aidan Forker (0-2), Ryan Kennedy; James Morgan; Conor O'Neill (0-1), Paddy Burns, Mark Shields (0-1); Jarlath Óg Burns (0-1), Stephen Sheridan, Rian O'Neill (0-4f); Rory Grugan (0-3, 1m), Greg McCabe, Stefan Campbell; Oisin O'Neill (0-2), Jamie Clarke (0-3)
SUBS: Niall Grimley for G McCabe (53), Callum Cumiskey for S Sheridan (60)

BLACK CARD: J Clarke (51)
YELLOW CARDS: S Sheridan (21), R O'Neill (38), C Cumiskey (70), O O'Neill (72), A Forker (74)

DERRY: Odhrán Lynch; Paul McNeill, Brendan Rogers; Carlus McWilliams; Padraig Cassidy; Ciaran McFaul (0-1), Paudi McGrogan; Chrissy McKaigue (0-1), Emmet Bradley (0-1), Conor Glass; Ethan Doherty (0-1), Enda Lynn, Danny Tallon; Shane McGuigan (0-7f), Niall Loughlin (0-4, 1f, 1m)
SUBS: Patrick Kearney for D Tallon (47), Oisin McWilliams for P McNeill (60), Paul Cassidy for E Lynn (64), Alex Doherty for Padraig Cassidy (69)

YELLOW CARDS: C McKaigue (38), P McGrogan (61), B Rogers (72), O McWilliams (74)

REF: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

Full report, analysis and photos in Tuesday's County Derry Post.

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