FT Ulster final: Derry beat Armagh on penalties to retain title

Derry make it two in a row after thriller in Clones. Look back on the action as it happened with Eamon Donoghue...


So that’s that ... Like last summer against Galway, Armagh lose out on penalties. Heartbreak for them after a brilliant game of football. Nothing between the sides and some terrific individual performances on their end to make it so. Derry go back to back for the first time since 1976, they look a real force now. Kerry, Galway, Derry and Dublin win the provinces just as they did last year. On to the All-Ireland series we go!

Keep an eye on the homepage for the match report from Clones.

Thanks for joining us!


FT Armagh 0-18 Derry 1-15 AET (Derry win 3-1 on penalties)


Ciaran Meenagh asked if he will be in charge of Derry for the remainder of the summer: “all we want to talk about is today and Derry and the manner in which we won the game and that’ll be talked about for a long time.”


FT Armagh 0-18 Derry 1-15 AET (Derry win 3-1 on penalties) Heartbreak for Armagh. There was literally nothing between the teams there. Derry held their nerve and won it on penalties with Lynch the hero after a shaky performance beforehand. But Glass and McGuigan also with successful penalties there, and they were both inspirational for their team throughout. The latter in particular!


McFaul, top corner. Game over!!

Armagh 1/4

Derry 3/4


Conor Glass buries it and celebrates wildly! Then Rafferty steps up, keeper v keeper, and Lynch saves it!!

Armagh 1/4

Derry 2/3


Not the best peno from Paul Cassidy and Rafferty saves it. The next one for Armagh (by Aidan Nugent) is saved in the same left corner.

Armagh 1/3

Derry 1/2


Callum Cumiskey after a long wait buries it in the corner. Goalkeeper goes the wrong way.

Armagh 1/2

Derry 1/1


McGuigan puts it down the centre and then goes down with cramp.

Armagh 0/1

Derry 1/1


Rian O’Neill steps up. But his first penalty is saved. Advantage Derry.

Armagh 0/1


FT AET Armagh 0-18 Derry 1-15 That’s it. Penalties to come!!! Rogers, Glass, McGuigan, Rian O’Neill, Jarly Óg Burns, Ethan Rafferty, Campbell when he came on. All heroic performances to give us a superb finish to normal and extra-time. ..

Rafferty is a converted goalkeeper so you’d imagine it would be advantage Derry here.


ET Armagh 0-18 Derry 1-15 (23′) He nails it. He was always going to nail that, he loves the pressure! What a finish!!


One last Armagh attack, they work it short from the kickout and are up to the 45. Campbell takes it by the scruff of the neck, carries hard and wins a free. About 35m out, left of the D. A free to equalise for Rian O’Neill. Into the wind..


Loughlin fists over. Derry are one up. One of the two added minutes gone!!! ET Armagh 0-17 Derry 1-15 (21′)


ET Armagh 0-17 Derry 1-14 (19′) Glass with a huge catch from the next kickout. Derry then win a free from over 45m out. McGuigan with the wind at his back nails it. Level again!! Those two have been outstanding for Derry. Level for the fourth time.


ET Armagh 0-17 Derry 1-13 (17′) McGuigan with a terrific score, he’s been so good. Then up comes Rafferty, takes on a man, comes back around on his left and smashes over his second point. The Armagh goalkeeper has been superb in this second half. Derry respond with an ice cold free from Toner. One point game.


ET Armagh 0-16 Derry 1-11 (15′) Rafferty launches a free in on top of the Derry defence, Armagh win it and it’s worked to Campbell who kicks his second point since coming on! Armagh by two.


ET Armagh 0-15 Derry 1-11 (14′) Lynch loses it in attack with a slack handpass, Armagh are really targeting him. And as you’d expect of a goalkeeper playing on the opposition 45, he is panicking.


Derry get a fist onto the throw in but Armagh win the breaks. They lead by a point, playing into the wind. Second half of extra time, here we go!


ET HT Armagh 0-15 Derry 1-11 From a tight angle McGuigan curls over a brilliant free. Armagh go long from the kick out and win it. Creating an overlap. With a goal on the excellent Jarly Óg Burns fists over.


Armagh 0-14 Derry 1-10 (9′) Rogers is back, restoring Derry to 15 players. They’ve conceded two points in his absence but trail here by just the one point, after playing the first half with the wind advantage. One minute added on.


Brilliant defending from Armagh to keep pressure on Derry throughout a long spell of possession before eventually forcing a turnover. Their counter attack lacks urgency with most of their team behind the ball. It ends with a poor wide from distance. Eight minutes gone. Armagh have the wind here.


Armagh 0-14 Derry 1-10 (3′) Long ball in from Armagh, Mackin gets up and fists it, but it’s well wide. Good to see them kicking it more and more as the game goes on.


ET Armagh 0-14 Derry 1-10 (1′) Armagh win the throw in and from their first attack Ross McQuillan points on the run to the right of the D, brilliant score. That’s their first time to lead in this game.


Derry will begin extra-time without Rogers, and down a man. Rian O’Neill is playing around the middle now and has been excellent. Armagh finished the better team and seem to prefer things when it opens up. But this is too tight to call! A look at those last two Armagh scores..


FT Armagh 0-13 Derry 1-10 Very poor refereeing. Grugan takes a mark from about 40m. It’s dropped short. Lynch gathers and carries out but he’s tackled and surrounded by three Armagh players. He drops the ball and stands over it, grabbing the Armagh players. Andy Farrell would be impressed. Instead of awarding Armagh a free, the referee throws it up and then blows the full-time whistle. Extra-time incoming.


Grugan who had just come back on after being earlier replaced, takes on his man but drops his shot short. As Derry come out Jarly Óg Burns intercepts a casual handpass. He’s dragged down by Rogers. Who is black carded. O’Neill taps over the free. Level game. Armagh with an extra man for the remainder. And O’Neill plucks the next kickout, what a player!!


Five minutes added on as Armagh secure a short kickout and look to create an equaliser..


Armagh 0-12 Derry 1-10 (68′) Brilliant 45 by Rian O’Neill to cut the deficit back to a point. After his dropped shot had come off a Derry hand before going out of play. Ciaran McFaul with a brilliant mark from the next kickout.


Armagh 0-11 Derry 1-10 (66′) Armagh push up and Derry then come out with it and create the overlap. Rogers gets at the end of a smart move and from a tight angle his attempt at a fisted point hits the post. Still two in it.


Derry playing keep ball in their own defence. Five minutes left.


Armagh 0-11 Derry 1-10 (62′) McGuigan judges the wind to perfection and curls over a pressure free. Two in it again.


Armagh 0-11 Derry 1-9 (59′) Lynch is pulled for steps as he comes out the field, he’s a long way behind Rafferty in terms of his general play capabilities. Derry kick it in long to O’Neill who is one on one with no goalkeeper in behind them, but no better man than Chrissy McKaigue to get a fist to it.


A yellow card for Aaron McKay for pulling at McGuigan’s fingers off the ball. If the referee spots something like that it should be more than a yellow.


Armagh 0-11 Derry 1-9 (55′) Rafferty has been brilliant for Armagh in this second half, adding real energy to their play. He takes on his man and from distance, with his third shot of the match, he gets his first point!


Armagh 0-10 Derry 1-9 (53′) McGuigan coming out the field on the right wing picks out Glass with a beauty of a pass, he takes it on the run in the middle of the D and lashes it over the bar. Derry lead by two.


Armagh 0-10 Derry 1-8 (51′) Conor O’Neill up from corner back collects it out on the right wing, steps inside his man, right foot solo, left foot kick. And a lovely point. At the other end McGuigan backs himself on the loop from 35m and it looked to be sliced but the wind catches it and the ball ends up curling over beautifully. And then, super sub Stefan Campbell gets one back for Armagh. End to end there for a few minutes.


Armagh 0-8 Derry 1-7 (48′) This time it’s Derry who come on the counter, Ethan Doherty takes it on and goes at Rian O’Neill who tackles well initially but eventually has to drag back such is Doherty’s pace. Toner taps over the resultant free.


Armagh 0-8 Derry 1-6 (44′) A poor Derry pass is cut out and Armagh come on the counter with Ciaran Mackin punishing it with an outside of the boot point.


With the wind at his back Padraig McGrogan’s sends a free from 40m well wide. Armagh having much more of the ball this half. Goalkeeper Rafferty then makes a brilliant break, Derry though close the gap. He gives a pop pass and comes back around on the loop but kicks it wide. Hard luck. He was a good outfield player himself and is well able to get involved in the play like that.


Armagh send in a long ball via their goalkeeper Rafferty but Lynch comes out to claim it. Good goalkeeping. Just the one point so far this half. 40 minutes on the clock.


Armagh 0-7 Derry 1-6 (36′) Conor Glass wins the throw in and Niall Loughlin fists over after a direct attack. In the first half Derry had 70 per cent possession and were only turned over twice. With the wind at their backs they go direct in their opening attack of the second half and a goal was on there! Mixing it up.



HT Armagh 0-7 Derry 1-5 Derry take a one point lead into the dressing rooms thanks to that crazy Brendan Rogers goal. They’ll have the wind advantage in the second half too. Rogers and Rian O’Neill are both giving excellent individual performances, with both teams minding the ball and playing the long game. A good quality game of ball so far.


Armagh 0-7 Derry 1-5 (35′) With most of the Derry team behind the ball, O’Neill backs himself from the 45 and floats it over. One minute added on.


Armagh 0-6 Derry 1-5 (33′) McGuigan’s free into the wind drops short. Armagh counter and kick it long into Andrew Murnin who wins it. But he looks to kick first time and is blocked down. An exciting passage of play! From the next attack McKinless fists over Derry’s fifth point on the overlap.


Armagh 0-6 Derry 1-4 (30′) O’Neill punishes a poor Derry kickout with a left footed point. Then the referee throws it up because Lynch took too long on the next kickout. O’Neill wins the throw in and the resultant free is a tap over.


Armagh 0-4 Derry 1-4 (28′) Turbitt and Conor McCluskey exchange narrow wides. Both teams being very careful in possession. Shane McGuigan then plays a one-two with Heron, injects some pace and fists over. Armagh haven’t scored in 10 minutes.


Armagh 0-4 Derry 1-3 (22′) Ah here Rogers is on fire. After a lot of possession play from Derry it’s passed to him in space on the 45. He casually carries left and then quickly cuts in on his right and curls it over from just beyond the edge of the D. The kind of shot modern defences don’t mind giving away too much, but he made it look very easy.


Derry goalkeeper Odhran Lynch with a poor attempt at a point from 35m goes wide. Earlier his opposite number kicked inches wide from 45m.


Armagh 0-4 Derry 1-2 (18′) Rogers is so good at taking on his man, he takes the contact, slips it and just steps on to kick a point. 1-1 for him already from midfield. Conor Turbitt then runs direct to win a free for Armagh which Rory Grugan slots.


Armagh 0-3 Derry 1-1 (13′) Greg McCabe marks a long ball sent in by O’Neill (you’d expect the order to be the other way around). McCabe catches brilliantly. Gets up and kicks the mark over.


Armagh 0-2 Derry 1-1 (9′) GOAL for Derry. A sliced shot hangs in the air, Armagh goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty neither comes nor stays and Brendan Rogers rises highest to fist it into the net. A mess of a goal to concede! Jarly Óg Burns responds with an excellent mark and score from distance.


Armagh 0-1 Derry 0-1 (8′) Rian O’Neill nails a free from over 50m after Armagh had missed their first free and kicked another shot from play short. A brilliant piece of skill by O’Neill who then makes a brilliant block at the other end!


Armagh 0-0 Derry 0-1 (4′) After almost three minutes, Derry still have the ball. And after 3.07 Armagh finally get a hand in on the sideline, but Derry have the sideline ball and then work it across to Gareth McKinless who kicks the first score of the game. Just to note, the orange jersey of Armagh and red of Derry is very confusing.


Armagh 0-0 Derry 0-0 (1′) Armagh fist the throw-in in on top of the Derry defence and the reigning champions get the game underway with a bit of keep ball. GAME ON!



Derry bring in Benny Heron for Padraig Cassidy. Two changes for Armagh as James Morgan replaces Ben Crealey and Barry McCambridge comes in for Stefan Campbell.


Former Armagh joint-manager Brian Canavan is hoping to see his county “let off the leash a wee bit” in this afternoon’s Ulster final


If you look at those first four Kerry goals, each bounce slightly misled either a defending player or the goalkeeper. Players are proficient in those close skills and dummies now to a greater degree and use them more frequently than in times past. Skills were always high but tendencies were a little more predictable. The development is a testament to the quality of players and their willingness to try new things.

Check out Jonny Cooper’s column in full here

And Jim McGuinness’ weekly column here

And Darragh Ó Sé's here


This is likely to be a final that less rewards caution but Derry have the vital components to play it either way, from the solid defence and quick transition of Conor McCluskey through a top-class centrefield of Glass and last year’s Ulster final hero Brendan Rogers up into an attack spearheaded by high-scoring Shane McGuigan

Check out Gordon Manning’s preview and prediction in full here



The two teams according to Friday’s squad lists release (as per programme) ...

ARMAGH: Ethan Rafferty, Conor O Neill, Aaron McKay, Aidan Forker, Ciaran Mackin, Greg McCabe, Jarly Óg Burns, Ben Crealey, Shane McPartlan, Jason Duffy, Stefan Campbell, Rory Grugan, Andrew Murnin, Rian O’Neill,Conor Turbitt. Subs: Shea Magill, James Morgan, Barry McCambridge, Ross McQuillan, Callum Cumiskey, Ciaran Higgins, Connaire Mackin, Stephen Sheridan, Aidan Nugent, Oisin Conaty, Cian McConville.

DERRY: Odhran Lynch, Christopher McKaigue, Eoghan McEvoy, Conor McCluskey, Conor Doherty, Gareth McKinless, Padraig McGrogan, Conor Glass, Brendan Rogers, Padraig Cassidy, Paul Cassidy, Ethan Doherty, Niall Toner, Shane McGuigan, Niall Loughlin. Subs: Ryan Scullion, Declan Cassidy, Ciaran McFaul, Shea Downey, Lachlan Murray, Ben McCarron, Paul McNeil, Benny Heron, Conleth McGuckian, Mark Doherty, Niall O’Donnell.


Hello and welcome ... Armagh and Derry clash in this afternoon’s Ulster final in Clones. A first appearance in the provincial decider for Armagh since 2008 while Derry are looking to go back to back for the first time since 1976, a cracking atmosphere is expected after a huge demand for tickets.

After a poor league campaign and subsequent relegation, Armagh have impressed on the easier side of the draw while Derry followed up promotion to Division One with big wins over Fermanagh and Monaghan in an unusually uncompetitive Ulster championship.

Armagh are averaging 1-17 in their three wins and Derry are averaging 2-19, so this should be interesting particularly if Armagh opt to test their long-kicking game of last summer against the defending champions.

The build up this week has been dominated by serious off the field matters following a social media post in which the former wife of Derry manager Rory Gallagher said she had been violently abused by him for more than two decades. The Ulster final at least has clarity though after Gallagher stepped back from his role on Friday.

We’ll keep you up to date with all the build-up, and action as it unfolds. Keep in touch via the comments section or on Twitter (@DonoghueEamon) but for now, let’s get started!