Ulster MFC Final: Monaghan 1-9 Derry 0-9

Former senior manager Seamus McEnaney is in charge of the Monaghan Minors this season
Former senior manager Seamus McEnaney is in charge of the Monaghan Minors this season

Donnach Swinburne's late penalty helped Monaghan to defeat Derry in a gripping Ulster MFC final tussle.

Swinburne held his nerve to score with eight minutes remaining and clinch a 1-9 to 0-9 win at the Athletic Grounds.

The two sides were level on six occasions before the decisive score swung the match in favour of Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney's talented side.

It completed a remarkable turnaround for the Farneymen, who lost to Derry in their preliminary-round tie in April.

Derry gave their all, and were denied by a couple of terrific saves by Ryan Farrelly, but the journey is not over for either team.

Derry will now go through the 'back door' to meet the Leinster champions in the All-Ireland quarter-finals later this month, while the Farney lads will face the runners-up of the Leinster decider between Meath and Kildare.

A closely fought first half featured a free-taking battle between Sean Jones and Aaron Mulligan of Monaghan and Derry's Enda Downey and Conleth McGuckin.

It was Downey who gave Derry the lead for the first time as they went in with a 0-6 to 0-5 interval advantage.

But a couple of brilliant scores from Mulligan gave Monaghan the edge at the start of the second-half before Downey brought the sides level yet again.

The game swung in Monaghan's favour when a penalty was awarded by referee Maggie Farrelly for a foul on Jack Doogan and Swinburne slotted his kick into the bottom corner of the net.

Ryan Farrelly denied the Oak Leafs an equaliser with a brilliant late save from Eunan McElhennon's effort and Monaghan held on for provincial glory.

Monaghan: R Farrelly; R Grimes (0-1), J Doogan, S Hanratty; C Flood, B Og O Dufaigh, M Meehan; J McGarrell, A Moore; A Mulligan (0-5, 3f), S Jones (0-3, 2f), K Gallagher; D Swinburne (1-0, pen), L Power, J Irwin.

Replacements: M Mooney for Power, O O'Hanlon for Gallagher

Derry: A Gillan; C Milne, T Woods, R McFaul; A McCluskey, J McErlain, A Canavan; N Doyle, I Donaghy; E McElhennon, S Murray, E Doherty (0-1); E Hawe (0-1), E Downey (0-5, 3f), C McGuckin (0-2, 2f).

Replacements: PJ McAleese for Murray, D Mooney for Canavan, S Kearney for Hawe, J Dougan for Milne

Referee: M Farrelly (Cavan)

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