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Derry was in impressive form at Naomh Peregrine on Saturday as they saw off National League Division 2 champions Wexford in the Gala Intermediate Championship æMcGrath Cup’.


Despite running out eight point victors Derry were pushed all the way by a determined Wexford side. It was Wexford who started the brighter of the two sides scoring two goals after taking advantage of confusion in the Derry defence. Derry however, hit back with two goals from Katie McAuley and fought back to leave two between the sides at the interval.


Although manager Danny McGrellis was more than happy with the result and performance of his players he admitted that there was still room for improvement.


“”I’m very pleased with the performance as we recorded a victory when in truth we were probably playing at 80 per cent of our ability. The lack of competitive matches probably showed in the first-half but as the game went on we grew in confidence and began to dominant the game. The girl’s showed a lot of character to come from behind and win the game.


“”It was a strange game because we were always in control but failed to tale our chances in the first 15 minutes but the second was a more accurate reflection of the game. Our midfield began to come out on top, the defence began to dominate the forwards took their scores but also made it difficult for the Wexford defence to clear the ball.””


The Derry side featured some new players and while McGrellis was keen to praise them it stressed that it was difficult for all his players, saying: “”Not knowing what to expect is always frightening but the girls dealt with it extremely well. Aileen (McCusker) and the other girls are very good players and good players can play well any day regardless of the occasion. No matter how many championship matches you’ve played the first one is always the hardest and conditions made it even harder for the girls. It was such a warm day and some of the girls found it hard to catch their breath.””


With the Ulster Final now less than a week away McGrellis believes that Saturday’s   victory sets his side up nicely to take on the current Ulster Champions Antrim.


“”Saturday’s win will certainly give us a boost going into next weekend’s clash with Antrim, we know it won’t be an easy game Antrim are always tough opposition. They would be seen as the favourites being the holders and they will be looking to retain that crown and won’t give it up easily. They had a better League campaign than us reaching the Final, they also had a convincing win over Armagh in the Ulster Semi-Final whereas we struggled past Down,”” added McGrellis. 


In the Gala Junior Championship æNancy Murray Cup’ Armagh suffered a four point defeat at the hands of Roscommon.


The Orchard County put in a fine performance leading by five points at half-time, 2-10 vs 2-5. Armagh failed to dominate the play, allowing Roscommon back into the game and despite making a mini-comeback with ten minutes left on the clock could not get back on level terms.


“”It was a great team performance. We played very well in the first-half but let it slip in the second half for about 20 minutes and that’s when Roscommon did the damage. We can’t dwell on it too much as we play Tyrone on Tuesday, so we’ll take the positives and move on,”” said Armagh manager Patsy McGee.



Gala Intermediate Championship æMcGrath Cup’: Derry 3-11 vs 2-6 Wexford

Gala Junior Championship æNancy Murray Cup’: Roscommon 4-12 vs 3-11 Armagh

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