McEvoy, Doherty and Murray stand tall: How the Derry players rated

Derry’s Eoin McEvoy celebrates a goal with Conor Glass during todays Allianz GAA Football league Div 1 final at Croke Park, Dublin.  Picture Mark Marlow
Derry’s Eoin McEvoy celebrates a goal with Conor Glass during todays Allianz GAA Football league Div 1 final at Croke Park, Dublin. Picture Mark Marlow

Odhran Lynch: His best Croke Park performance. Questions have been asked of him under a big press, particularly by Kerry last year. He found ways out really coolly. Seems to thrive in penalty shootouts. 7.5

Conor McCluskey: Couldn’t really have done much on Colm Basquel’s goal. Conceded 1-1 in total but had some good defensive moments. Found himself a marked man, with Basquel tracking his every movement all day. 6.5

Chrissy McKaigue: Did well to restrict Con O’Callaghan and force him away from goal, leaving that battle scoreless. Killian O’Gara got one off him and let Killian McGinnis past too easily for another, but overall solid. 6.5

Diarmuid Baker: Took him a bit of time to get to grips with Niall Scully’s movement but he settled into it. Found Paddy Small a physical challenge. 6

Conor Doherty: Outstanding first half, Derry’s best player in that period, shackling Ciaran Kilkenny, contesting kickouts, linking play. Ran himself silly, ended up with a bad cramp in the groin and had to go off. 8.5

STAR MAN: Eoin McEvoy: Last year’s big find could be this summer’s breakout player. Getting in behind defences now with a real confidence to go for goal with no messing. Hit 2-2 and more than covered himself defensively, picking up Kilkenny at times when Doherty was away hunting. 9

Padraig McGrogan: Ordinarily so reliable, the Newbridge man had a tough first half before being taken off at the interval. Beaten three times in one-on-ones in the first half, so unlike him. 5.5

Conor Glass: Didn’t line up with Fenton as many expected and Glass used it to his advantage, dominating a lot of the midfield battle and heavily involving himself in Derry’s attacking play, including with occasional drifts to full-forward. 7.5

Brendan Rogers: Had a big battle with Fenton, whose frustration was evident at the end. Rogers ran at Fenton and hurt Dublin, moreso than the other way around. His best game of the year. 7.5

Ethan Doherty: Tightly marked by John Small, Doherty worked the game out, was very clever with his movement and really got at Dublin from early in the second half. Fouled for the penalty, had a goal chance blocked on the line, and netted his own penalty coolly. 7.5

Ciaran McFaul: Did so much defensive covering and donkey work that he was effectively playing at wing-back for a lot of the game. A lot of unseen effort. 6

Paul Cassidy: Unlucky when his effort flashed across the goal and wide. Willing to run at Dublin but his scoring return has dipped somewhat in this year’s league. 6

Niall Loughlin: Nabbed himself a fisted point when Derry were in the ascendancy. Had the beating of Cian Murphy but played second-fiddle to Murray and McGuigan. 6

Shane McGuigan: Finished with 1-4, with 0-2 of it from play, after his second meeting of the year with Eoin Murchan. Dublin pressurised him and he made good, unselfish decisions at times not to take the shot when it wasn’t on. 7

Lachlan Murray: Earned his place with the Roscommon performance and justified it with a really good 50 minutes. Has to be in the championship team now after kicking three from play and another from a mark. Really direct, sometimes rash, but other times a huge threat. 8


Gareth McKinless: No sooner on that he was off again, seemingly nursing a hand injury. 6

Niall Toner: Really good display from the Lavey man, kicked two points, found pockets from centre-forward and darted through Dublin’s cover umpteen times. 7.5

Cormac Murphy: Dublin stood off him and forced him down blind alleys. 6

Donnacha Gilmore: Gave the ball away on the last play in normal time for the equaliser, naturally fidgety thereafter but held it together. 5.5

Emmett Bradley: Limited impact in extra-time. 6

Declan Cassidy: Entered a whirlwind with ten minutes to go, had no chance. 6

Eunan Mulholland: Kicked into one block before he got under Fenton’s skin. 6