5 May 2023 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Colm Shalvey

Derry’s gameplan was largely built on defensive solidity last year, with their ability to frustrate opponents and hit on the counter making them very difficult to play against, as they demonstrated against Monaghan at the same stage, but they have clearly found another gear going forward. After spending another spring in Division Two and cruising past Fermanagh in the previous round, some doubts lingered over where exactly Derry were at, but their performance in Omagh has seen some parallels drawn between their rate of progress and that of Donegal under Jim McGuinness from 2011 into ’12.

Their attacking efficiency was really impressive as Rory Gallagher clinched a fourth Ulster semi-final win over Monaghan since 2016. Derry kicked 1-14 from their first 18 shots to take a firm grip on the game and they would finish with ten players on the scoresheet and a shot conversion rate of more than three-quarters as they blitzed their way to a fifth straight win in the provincial series. Armagh’s aerial threat and goal-scoring touch will give Derry plenty to think about in the Ulster final, but if the holders can repeat their performance levels from Saturday, they may be toasting a first two-in-a-row since 1976 and they may…

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