Lynn downs Cork as Derry cast off shackles to bow out on high
Derry2-15 Cork 1-11
Derry signed off from Division 1 with a flourish as two goals from Enda Lynn saw them past a much-changed Cork side.
Derry retained the system which had led to widespread debate following their defensive set-up in last weekend's 0-8 to 0-4 defeat by Dublin.
Their half-forward line retreated and played in defence, with 13 coming behind the ball. But, unlike Dublin last weekend, Cork pushed up on Derry and pressured them higher up the park.
All that served to do was let Derry, and particularly Enda Lynn, off the leash.
The Greenlough man, who also netted twice in last year's clash between the sides, was superb, scoring 2-3 from play, with the two goals coming in the final quarter.
The visitors burst into an early lead when Stephen O'Donoghue lashed low past Eoin McNicholl to open the scoring, and the Rebels maintained their lead for the rest of the opening period, leading by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break.
They held their advantage until Mark Lynch fed Lynn and he buried past substitute goalkeeper Paddy O'Shea with 16 minutes to play.
Cork had managed to hold Derry at arm's length, with a couple of stunning scores from Paul Kerrigan helping them to a 1-9 to 0-10 lead ten minutes after the break.
After Eoin Bradley had reduced the gap to a point, Lynn's goal put Derry ahead for the first time.
Full-back Niall Holly surged up to add to the lead before, on the hour mark, Lynn combined with Michael McIver and palmed home the Ballinderry man's cross to put Derry 2-12 to 1-9 ahead.
Cork threatened to rally and Brian Hurley had a chance but, with Oisin Duffy pressurising, his shot was well saved at the near post by Eoin McNicholl.
That was as close as they came to clawing it back, with a late score from John O'Rourke and a Colm O'Neill free were mere consolation.
Victory wasn't enough to save Derry from being relegated alongside Tyrone.
Cork had already secured a play-off spot - they take on Donegal at home.
Man of the match: Enda Lynn (Derry).
Scorers - Derry: E Lynn 2-3, B Heron 0-3 (1 '45'), M Lynch (2fs), J Kielt (2fs), Eoin Bradley (1f) 0-2 each, N Holly, K Johnston, E McGuckin 0-1 each. Cork: S O'Donoghue 1-0, P Kerrigan, D Goulding 0-3 each, J O'Rourke, M Collins, C Dorman, J Hayes (f), C O'Neill (f) 0-1 each.
Derry - E McNicholl 7; O Duffy 7, N Holly 7, K Johnston 8; L McGoldrick 7, C McAtamney 6, M McIver 6; M Lynch 6, F Doherty 7; SL McGoldrick 8, D Heavron 6, E Lynn 9; B Heron 7, T O'Brien 6, J Kielt 5. Subs: Eoin Bradley 6 for O'Brien (40), E McGuckin 6 for Kielt (52), M Sweeney 6 for Holly (56), Emmet Bradley 6 for Doherty (56), A McAlynn 6 for L McGoldrick (60), C Murphy 6 for Lynn (65).
Cork - K O'Halloran 6; N Galvin 7, M Shields 8, D Óg Hodnett 7; Tomás Clancy 6, S O'Donoghue 6, C Dorman 6; K O'Driscoll 6, P Kelly 5; J O'Rourke 7, M Collins 6, B O'Driscoll 6; D Goulding 7, P Kerrigan 7, J Hayes 6. Subs: F Goold 7 for Kelly (30), P O'Shea 6 for O'Halloran (ht), J Loughery 6 for Galvin (45), B Hurley 6 for Goulding (57), C O'Neill 6 for Hayes (57), C O'Driscoll 6 for O'Donoghue (59)
Ref - C Reilly (Meath).