Derry punish Malone slip-up
DERRY 1-16 WEXFORD 0-10
The greasy ball slipped off the hands of Brian Malone and into his own net and from there, Derry were in complete control as they cruised into Round 3 of the qualifiers.
It put Brian McIver's side four clear after a negative opening half hour, and by the interval the gap had stretched to eight.
The first half hour of the game was locked in a defensive maelstrom. Wexford saw Derry's one sweeper and they raised it, allowing Joey Wadding and Graeme Molloy both to sit free.
They began by double-marking Eoin Bradley, quite visibly so, until the Glenullin man came out. But the more emphasis Wexford put on stopping him, the more space Cailean O'Boyle got.
The big Lavey man was the outstanding player on the park in the first half, swivelling early to fire one over from 40 yards. The confidence was up and he ended up coming out around midfield in the last 15 minutes of the half, where he won three clean kick-outs.
It was O'Boyle, with the aid of Fergal Doherty, who forced the score which finally put daylight between the sides. A long ball from Bradley towards O'Boyle broke and Doherty, though visibly struggling with injury, smashed in along the endline.
He squared and O'Boyle fisted off the bar, with Brian Malone unable to grasp the greasy rebound and spilling it over the line into his own net.
It came at a time when David Power would have been starting to dream of victory. Playing against the wind, the driving runs of both the visitors' midfielders and wing-back Adrian Flynn - who kicked a superb score on the run - the Yellowbellies were within a point at 0-5 to 0-4 just shy of the half-hour.
But the own goal rattled them and only for a brilliant stop from Anthony Masterson to deny Bradley, the gap could have widened further. Benny Heron pointed the '45 and then Daniel Heavron abandoned sweeping duties to kick Derry into a 1-8 to 0-4 interval lead.
Malone, who had earlier taken a huge hit from Fergal Doherty, was hospitalised by a high tackle which his boss Power labelled "horrendous". It left Malone unable to return for the second half, which undoubtedly had an impact.
Wexford came out man-for-man but while Derry failed to fully utilise the space they were afforded, they were always comfortable in picking off their opponents, who are headed for Division 4 next season.
Two poor kick-outs in succession from Masterson handed scores to Mark Lynch and Liam McGoldrick that made it 1-11 to 0-5 early in the second period.
Ciarán Lyng responded with a superb score off his left from right out in the corner, a trick which he repeated off his right later in the half.
But Derry protected the space in front of their goal superbly. Wexford's decision to come out and push up only slightly affected the Derry kick-outs, and left Brian McIver's side more space to counter into.
The disappointing aspect of their second-half display was that they didn't use that space as well as they might have.
They did enough, with Cailean O'Boyle's man-of-the-match display keeping the scoreboard ticking over, but at times Bradley and O'Boyle were one against one inside, with acres of space in front.
So ingrained was Derry's running game, however, that they failed to lift their heads and see it. Had that happened, victory would have been even more comfortable.
Scorers - Derry: M Lynch 0-6 (5f), C O'Boyle 0-3, B Malone (OG) 1-0, B Heron 0-2 (1f), L McGoldrick, E Lynn, D Heavron (f), E Bradley (f), C McAtamney 0-1 each. Wexford: C Lyng 0-5 (2f), B Brosnan 0-3 (3f), A Flynn, E Nolan 0-1 each.
Derry: T Mallon; O Duffy, C McKaigue, D McBride; L McGoldrick, B Rogers, SL McGoldrick; N Holly, F Doherty; B Heron, M Lynch, E Lynn; D Heavron, E Bradley, C O'Boyle. Subs: T O'Brien for Doherty (60), K McKaigue for Rogers (60), C McAtamney for Lynn (66), C Murphy for E Bradley (67).
Wexford: A Masterson; R Tierney, N Rossiter, J Wadding; S Donohoe, G Molloy, A Flynn; S Byrne, B Malone; T Rossiter, B Brosnan, K Butler; C Lyng, M O'Regan, K O'Grady. Subs: J Breen for Wadding (h-t), E Nolan for Byrne (h-t), C Kehoe for Malone (h-t), J Tubritt for O'Grady (61), P Byrne for O'Regan (61).
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)
Sunday Indo Sport