All-Ireland Football quarter-finals: Five-goal Derry crush Clare as Dublin beat Cork

By Matt GaultBBC Sport NI at Croke Park
Conor Glass
Conor Glass was superb throughout and scored Derry's second goal

Derry stormed into the All-Ireland Football semi-finals for the first time since 2004 with a commanding 5-13 to 2-8 win over Clare in a one-sided quarter-final contest at Croke Park.

Four weeks on from their memorable Ulster triumph, the Oak Leaf County had their first All-Ireland quarter-final in 15 years virtually wrapped up by half-time after hitting three first-half goals.

Benny Heron and Conor Glass raised early green flags to put Derry in the ascendancy, and while Clare briefly threatened a revival when Pearse Lillis shot past Odhran Lynch three minutes before the break, Padraig Cassidy's goal gave Rory Gallagher's side a nine-point advantage at the halfway point.

Derry found two more goals - taking their championship total this year to 10 - either side of an Eoin Cleary strike through Gareth McKinless and Shane McGuigan to complete the demolition job and take their place in the last four where they will face either Armagh or Galway.

Dublin joined Derry in the last four with a comfortable 0-20 to 0-10 victory over Cork, setting up a semi-final meeting with either Mayo or Kerry.

While Clare built up momentum with qualifier wins over Meath and Roscommon, Derry came into the game a month removed from reclaiming their place at the Ulster summit for the first time in 24 years.

But despite a couple of early wides from Shane McGuigan and Brendan Rogers, Derry roared out of sight with two excellent goals in a five-minute period in the first-ever championship meeting between the counties.

"They've won four in a row, it would be nice to win a fifth" - Gallagher

The first came after a short Clare kick-out had gone badly awry, allowing Derry to work the ball to Heron, who sidestepped a half-hearted Cillian Rouine challenge before blasting the ball into Tristan O'Callaghan's net to add to the two goals he scored against Monaghan.

Glass was a standout performer in Derry's Ulster Final win over Donegal and the imposing Glen midfielder was a key figure at Croke Park, his driving runs through the heart of Clare often resulting in scores or chances for his team-mates.

Indeed, less than five minutes after Heron's opener, Glass combined smoothly with Ethan Doherty before lashing an unstoppable shot high into O'Callaghan's net.

While an Eoin Cleary free gave Clare their first score in the 15th minute, four successive Derry scores - three from McGuigan and one from Glass - put Derry 2-5 to 0-1 up on the half-hour mark.

Benny Heron's goal sparked a clinical afternoon for Derry
Benny Heron's goal sparked a clinical afternoon for Derry

Pearse Lillis offered Clare much-needed reprieve when he collected Ciaran Russell's pass and found the top corner of Odhran Lynch's net, and while Cleary quickly notched his second score to bring the Banner to within six, Cassidy's goal delivered a hammer blow to the Munster county's hopes of reaching the All-Ireland semis for the first time since 1992.

Cassidy's goal - brilliantly finished after fine work from McGuigan - gave Derry a nine-point half-time lead which they quickly stretched out to 12 when McKinless charged onto Conor Doherty's short handpass, surged forward and floated a deft right-footed shot into the top corner.

While Clare never looked up for taking a significant chunk out of Derry's lead, Cleary was rewarded for his undimmed endeavour when he chased down a deflection, beat Lynch to the ball and stroked it past the Oak Leaf keeper for Clare's second goal.

But much like with Lillis' effort in the first half, Derry responded quickly and emphatically to conceding with a goal of their own, this time through McGuigan, who took Conor McCluskey's pass and tore through the Clare defence to score the Ulster champions' fifth goal after 47 minutes.

From there, the game was a foregone conclusion with the Derry fans giving big standing ovations to Glass and McGuigan as Rory Gallagher's side kept alive the ultimate dream of lifting the Sam Maguire Cup at this venue on 24 July.

Derry: O Lynch; C McKaigue, B Rogers, C McCluskey (0-1); C Doherty, G McKinless (1-0), P McGrogan; C Glass (1-1), E Bradley; P Cassidy (1-1), S Downey, E Doherty; B Heron (1-1), S McGuigan (1-8, 1f), N Loughlin (0-1, 1f).

Subs: Emmett Bradley for Heron '48, Ben McCarron for Glass '61, Paul McNeill for Downey '66, Declan Cassidy for McGuigan '68.

Clare: T O'Callaghan; M Doherty, C Brennan, C Rouine; C O'Dea, C Russell, J Malone (0-1); D O'Neill, C O'Connor; P Lillis (1-0), E Cleary (1-5, 2f), E McMahon; P Collins, K Sexton, A Griffin.

Subs: Alan Sweeney for Rouine half-time, Brendan Rouine for McMahon '43, David Tubridy (0-2, 2f) for Griffin 43, Joe McGann for Sexton '53, Gavin Cooney for Collins '53.

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

Dublin too strong for Cork

Dean Rock in possession for Dublin
Eight of Dean Rock's nine points came from frees - with the other arriving courtesy of a mark

In Saturday's second quarter-final, Dublin moved closer to reclaiming their All-Ireland title with an ultimately comfortable 0-21 to 0-10 win over Cork.

Helped by Dean Rock's free-taking abilities, Dessie Farrell's side proved too strong for the Rebel County as the Dubs set up a potential sequel to last year's semi-final defeat by Mayo.

Mayo will have to beat Kerry on Sunday for that to happen, of course, but Dublin will be quietly content with their work in the quarter-final as they reached the semi-finals for the 13th year in a row.

Even with Con O'Callaghan and James McCarthy missing from Farrell's matchday panel, Dublin had too much firepower for a Cork side that was bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2012.

Cormac Costello - who netted two goals in Dublin's emphatic Leinster final win over Kildare - scored the game's opening point after two minutes, and while Cathail O'Mahony hit back for Cork, Dublin reeled off three successive scores to take hold of proceedings.

However, despite Rock's prowess over dead balls, Cork kept themselves within striking distance to trail by just three at the break, only for the Dubs to hit six in a 15-minute period upon the resumption to surge clear and establish an unassailable nine-point lead.

While Cork's wait for an eighth All-Ireland title is extended, Dublin will be interested spectators on Sunday when Mayo clash with Kerry.

Dublin have historic rivalries with both counties, of course, but a Mayo victory over the Kingdom on Sunday will give Farrell's team the chance to avenge last year's devastating semi-final loss to James Horan's men - a result that wrecked Dublin's bid for a seventh straight All-Ireland title.

Dublin: E Comerford; E Murchan, M Fitzsimons, L Gannon (0-2); J Small, J Cooper, S Bulger (0-1); B Fenton (0-02), T Lahiff (0-1); N Scully, B Howard, C Kilkenny (0-3); C Costello (0-1), Dean Rock (0-9, 0-8f, 1m), Paddy Small (0-1).

Subs: L O'Dell for Bugler '51, C Murphy for Cooper '55, A Byrne (0-1) for Small '60, E O'Connell for Murchan '67, D Byrne for Small '68.

Cork: M A Martin; S Powter, Maurice Shanley, K O'Donovan; J Cooper, R Maguire, M Taylor; I Maguire, C O'Callaghan; P Ring, E McSweeney (0-1), J O'Rourke (0-1); S Sherlock (0-3, 0-2f), B Hurley (0-2), C O'Mahony (0-3, 0-1f, 0-1m).

Subs: S Meehan for Ring '47, D Dineen for McSweeney '47, B Hayes for Sherlock '52, C Kiely for Cooper '55, B Murphy for O'Callaghan '70.

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone).

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