Ulster Under-20 Football Championship: Derry 0-16 Donegal 2-9

The block comes in as Derry forward Declan Cassidy goes for a point in the quarter-final against Donegal
The block comes in as Derry forward Declan Cassidy goes for a point in the quarter-final against Donegal

Derry squeezed through to the Ulster U20 Football Championship semi-finals with a one-point win over Donegal in a Healy Park thriller.

Donegal led 2-5 to 0-8 at the break with Peadar Mogan and Paddy Dolan scoring the goals.

However, the free-taking of Jude McAtamney and the marksmanship of Oisin McWilliams, who shared a 0-7 haul, took the Oak Leafers to victory.

Derry will take on Down next Sunday for a place in the decider.

Wing back Peadar Mogan broke through to drill home a goal that eased Donegal into a 1-1 to 0-2 lead in the 12th minute, but Derry fought back with scores from McAtamney and Ben McCarron.

Donegal's well organised defensive system frustrated their opponents, and they countered to add points through Niall O'Donnell and Dolan.

And they struck for a second goal in the 22nd minute, a brilliant solo effort from Dolan, who sprinted 50 metres before picking his spot in the bottom corner of Oran Hartin's net.

McAtamney converted his second free, and there were excellent scores from midfielders Callum Brown and McWilliams as Derry responded again.

Donegal enjoyed a three-point advantage at the interval but a string of Derry points, two each from McWilliams and McCarron, had Derry ahead within eight minutes of the restart.

And they never went behind for the remainder of the game, despite a missed penalty and the 54th minute dismissal of McCarron.

Donegal had just drawn level through Luke Gavigan when Derry were awarded a penalty for a foul on Callum Brown in the 48th minute, but Lorcan McWilliams blazed his kick over the bar.

With defences dominating the final quarter, McAtamney and Dolan, from a '45, traded scores, but Donegal were unable to get the elusive point that would have sent the tie to extra-time.