Tuesday 23 October 2018

Brennan joy as Derry make critics 'eat their words'

Derry 0-14 Monaghan 0-8

Derry manager John Brennan felt his side had answered their critics as they claimed their first points of the campaign with a well-earned win at Celtic Park.

"You have to respect and support the players," said Brennan as his team bounced backs from defeats by Galway and Tyrone.

"I just hope some of the people who were saying that some of this panel aren't good enough and writing things like we've never had a centre half-back since such-and-such retired 20 years ago, effectively eat their words.

"We had two bad matches in February, but we are a developing team."

Confidence will have been garnered not only from the result, but the manner of it. Derry, welcoming back some key players from injury, needed a win to avoid being dragged in to a relegation dogfight, but they didn't look like a struggling side.

With the wind at their backs, they surged into 0-8 to 0-1 lead, with Paddy Bradley outstanding.

Skipper Darren Hughes burst forward on the half-hour mark to kick Monaghan's second score, but the Farney men were immediately rocked back when Matthew McKenna collected his second yellow card and subsequent red for a dangerous challenge on Barry McGoldrick.


Monaghan did at least grab the next score through Eoin Duffy's free, but McGoldrick's long-range effort gave Derry a 0-9 to 0-3 half-time lead.

Monaghan managed a couple of early second-half scores through Tommy Freeman -- making his first inter-county appearance since April of last year -- and another free from Paul Finlay.

But points from the half-back line of Michael Bateson, Mark Craig and Sean Leo McGoldrick kept Derry comfortably in front.

Monaghan only once looked like getting the goal they needed to get back into the game, but Kieran Hughes' effort was smothered by a diving block from Sean Leo McGoldrick.

Numerical parity was restored with the sending off of Derry wing-forward Neil Forester for a second yellow card.

But the Oak Leafers remained in control to claim those precious points.

Man of the Match: Mark Craig (Derry)

Scorers -- Derry: P Bradley 0-6 (3f), M Lynch 0-2 (1f), M Bateson 0-2, E Lynn, B McGoldrick, M Craig, S L McGoldrick 0-1 each. Monaghan: P Finlay (2f), K Hughes 0-2 each, D Hughes, E Duffy, T Freeman, D Malone 0-1 each.

Derry -- B Gillis 6; B McCallion7, C McKaigue 7,A McAlynn 7; M Craig 9, M Bateson 8, SL McGoldrick 7; M Friel 6, PJ McCloskey 8; N Forrester 7, G O'Kane 8, BMcGoldrick 6; M Lynch 6, P Bradley 8, E Lynn 7. Subs: C Kielt 6 for M Bateson (47), C Gilligan 6 for Lynn (62), E McGuckin 6 for Lynch, Patsy Bradley 6 for Paddy Bradley (68).

Monaghan -- M Keogh 6; V Corey 6, Darren Hughes 7, C Walsh 5; D Malone 6, D Mone 6, David Hughes 6; E Lennon 7, D Clerkin 5; M McKenna 4, D Morgan 6, J Turley 5; P Finlay 6, K Hughes 7, E Duffy 6. Subs: T Freeman 6 for David Hughes (h-t), C Duffy for CWalsh 6 (47), C McGuinness 5 for E Duffy (49)

Ref -- E Kinsella (Laois).

Irish Independent

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