Rory Gallagher’s Derry carried their Ulster championship momentum into Croke Park, demolishing Clare to achieve a primary All-Eire semi-final for 18 years.
An authoritative and ruthless first-half show set the platform for the victory, Benny Heron and the magnificent Conor Glass blasting dwelling objectives after a cagey opening and Paul Cassidy rocketing one other into the highest stanchion simply earlier than half-time.
4 weeks on from their memorable Ulster triumph, the Oak Leaf County had their first All-Eire quarter-final in 15 years just about wrapped up by half-time after hitting three first-half objectives.
Heron and Glass raised early inexperienced flags to place Derry within the ascendancy.
And whereas Clare briefly threatened a revival when Pearse Lillis shot previous Odhran Lynch three minutes earlier than the break, Padraig Cassidy’s purpose gave Rory Gallagher’s aspect a nine-point benefit on the midway level.
Derry discovered two extra objectives – taking their championship complete this yr to 10 – both aspect of an Eoin Cleary strike via Gareth McKinless and Shane McGuigan to finish the demolition job and take their place within the final 4 the place they may face both Armagh or Galway.
Whereas Clare constructed up momentum with qualifier wins over Meath and Roscommon, Derry got here into the sport a month faraway from reclaiming their place on the Ulster summit for the primary time in 24 years.
However regardless of a few early wides from Shane McGuigan and Brendan Rogers, Derry roared out of sight with two glorious objectives in a five-minute interval.
The primary got here after a brief Clare kick-out had gone badly awry, permitting Derry to work the ball to Heron, who sidestepped a half-hearted Cillian Rouine problem earlier than blasting the ball into Tristan O’Callaghan’s web so as to add to the 2 objectives he scored towards Monaghan.
Glass was a standout performer in Derry’s Ulster Ultimate win over Donegal and the imposing Glen midfielder was a key determine at Croke Park, his driving runs via the guts of Clare usually leading to scores or probabilities for his team-mates.
Certainly, lower than 5 minutes after Heron’s opener, Glass mixed easily with Ethan Doherty earlier than lashing an unstoppable shot excessive into O’Callaghan’s web.
Whereas an Eoin Cleary free gave Clare their first rating within the fifteenth minute, 4 successive Derry scores – three from McGuigan and one from Glass – put Derry 2-5 to 0-1 up on the half-hour mark.
Pearse Lillis supplied Clare much-needed reprieve when he collected Ciaran Russell’s move and located the highest nook of Odhran Lynch’s web, and whereas Cleary rapidly notched his second rating to carry the Banner to inside six, Cassidy’s purpose delivered a hammer blow to the Munster county’s hopes of reaching the All-Eire semis for the primary time since 1992.
Cassidy’s purpose – brilliantly completed after fantastic work from McGuigan – gave Derry a nine-point half-time lead which they rapidly stretched out to 12 when McKinless charged onto Conor Doherty’s brief handpass, surged ahead and floated a deft right-footed shot into the highest nook.
Whereas Clare by no means seemed up for taking a major 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 previous the Oak Leaf keeper for Clare’s second purpose.
However very similar to with Lillis’ effort within the first half, Derry responded rapidly and emphatically to conceding with a purpose of their very own, this time via McGuigan, who took Conor McCluskey’s move and tore via the Clare defence to attain the Ulster champions’ fifth purpose after 47 minutes.
From there, the sport was a foregone conclusion with the Derry followers giving large standing ovations to Glass and McGuigan as Rory Gallagher’s aspect stored alive the final word dream of lifting the Sam Maguire Cup at this venue on 24 July.
Runaway Derry thrash Clare to achieve All Eire semis was final modified: June twenty fifth, 2022 by