Bradley inspires Derry past sorry Sligo
Paddy Bradley inspired Derry to their third win of the campaign as sloppy Sligo, yet to win in four attempts, were unable to make their numerical advantage count at Markievicz Park.
The winners absorbed the 25th-minute dismissal of Eoin Bradley -- following a challenge on Sligo defender Neil Ewing -- and with the inspirational Paddy Bradley in superb form, Derry were always that one step ahead of a Sligo side that have yet to touch the heights of last year.
Bradley's seven-point haul -- five of these came during an opening period that was comfortably controlled by the visitors -- was deserved reward for Derry's consistent use of the accurate full-forward, while Martin Donaghy also caught the eye with a couple of impressive scores.
Leading 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval after a wind-assisted first-half, the Oak Leafers were almost made to regret their seven first-half wides as Sligo's improved second-half performance made for some uncomfortable moments in the Derry rearguard.
Sligo, who prop up the table with three games remaining, were frustrated by their stunted attack and when they did fashion a marvellous goal chance -- Eamonn O'Hara set up Kenneth Sweeney 15 minutes into the second half -- Derry goalkeeper Danny Devlin stood tall between the posts to make the save.
Sligo manager Kevin Walsh will cite several injuries and a disrupted selection -- tricky forward David Kelly was again absent -- but Sligo's overall performance was poor, with only a handful of players distinguishing themselves.
Those who did do themselves justice include wing-back David Rooney and No 13 Adrian Marren, whose four pointed frees kept the hosts alive in the second period of the game.
Bradley continued to carry the threat to the Sligo defence, sometimes single-handedly, but he blazed wide with the goal at his mercy in the last minute of normal time.
Marren did likewise at the other end in added time after the industrious Sean Davey and Alan Costello carved out a last-gasp opportunity.
The defeat leaves Sligo with just one point from four games, while Derry move to six points alongside Laois and Donegal at the top of the table.
Man of the Match: Paddy Bradley (Derry)
Scorers -- Derry: P Bradley 0-7 (3f), M Donaghy 0-2, E Muldoon, PJ McCloskey 0-1 eacg. Sligo: A Marren 0-5 (4f), M Breheny 0-2 (1f), D Rooney 0-1.
Derry -- D Devlin 6, C Mullan 6, K McCloy 6, D McBride 6, C Kielt 6, J O'Kane 6, A McAlynn 6, PJ McCloskey 6, M Friel 6, C McGoldrick 6, S McGoldrick 6, M Donaghy 6, E Bradley 4, P Bradley 9, E Muldoon 5. Subs: E McGuckian 5 for C McGoldrick, 55; D Mullan 5 for M Friel, 58; B McGoldrick for S McGoldrick, 70.
SLIGO -- J Farrell 6, C Harrison 5, N Ewing 6, R Donovan 4, D Rooney 6, M Quinn 4, P McGovern 5, T Taylor 5, S Davey 6, B Curran 5, M Breheny 5, F Quinn 5, A Marren 6, E O'Hara 5, K Sweeney 4. Subs: A Costello 4 for F Quinn, h-t; K Cawley 5 for M Quinn, 42; S Gilmartin 4 for K Sweeney, 55; P Hughes 4 for B Curran, 58; D Maye for M Breheny, 70.
REF -- Robert O'Donnell (Donegal).