Derry cruise into All Ireland semi-finals

Clare have no answer to powerful Oak Leaf performance in Croke Park

Derry cruise into All Ireland semi-finals

Man of the match Shane McGuigan scored 1-7 from play in a personal tally of 1-8 in Saturday's win over Clare.

By Damian Mullan


By Damian Mullan


Saturday 25 June 2022 19:10

DERRY powered into a first All Ireland senior football championship semi-final in 18 years with a brutal dismantling of Clare in a one-sided last eight clash at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

Rory Gallagher's side showed all their talents on their way to a thumping 5-13 to 2-8 win over the Munster side, whose limitations were badly exposed on the wide open spaces of GAA headquarters.

Man of the match, Slaughtneil's Shane McGuigan, helped himself to 1-8 of his side's total, 1-7 of that coming from open play, but there were star performers all the pitch for the Ulster champions.

Captain Chrissy McKaigue again produced a man-marking masterclass in defence while Conor Glass was peerless in midfield. Up front, Benny Heron again underlined what a dangerous predator he can be with the crucial opening goal.

But it would be doing the players a disservice to concentrate on individuals; like their procession through Ulster, this victory owed everything to a team performance, orchestrated by an animated Rory Gallagher on the touchline.

The countless hours of training at Owenbeg have produced a superbly drilled, incredibly athletic squad, who will surely fear no-one as they reach the business end of the season.

Much derided by many for their displays against Tyrone, Monaghan and Donegal, the Oak Leafs showed their attacking prowess from the off, pushing their opponents on to the back foot and never relenting.

Early goals from Heron and Glass set Derry on their way and they led by ten points after half an hour, by which stage Clare had a solitary point to their name.

Clare briefly threatened before half-time but a third goal, this time expertly finished by Bellaghy's Paul Cassidy, effectively ended their resistance.

Further second half goals from the rampaging Gareth McKindless and star man McGuigan saw them ease their way to the finishing line and a semi-final meeting with either Armagh or Galway.

They meet at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon, no doubt watched with great interest by everyone connected with the Oak Leaf county.

Report, reaction and photos in Tuesday's Chronicle.

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