Bradley heroics floor Faithful
Derry 1-15 Offaly 0-13
Derry produced their best display of the season to defeat Offaly by five points in yesterday's refixed Division 3 clash in Celtic Park.
Emmett Bradley top-scored with 1-5, while winless Offaly, who had Anton Sullivan sent off near the end, find themselves mired in the relegation zone.
But for the heroics of Offaly goalkeeper Barry Rohan, who twice denied Niall Toner with fine stops, Derry would have found themselves further ahead than the 1-6 to 0-5 that they led by at half-time.
Derry's goal when it did arrive came courtesy of rampaging midfielder Bradley, who side-footed neatly home in the 13th minute.
That goal handed the blitzkrieging Oak Leafers a handsome 1-5 to no score advantage, and an Enda Lynn point straight after stretched that lead further still.
The Faithful finally came to the party when Bobby O'Dea opened their account in the 18th minute- that was the first of seven consecutive scores for Offaly.
Stung into action, Damian McErlain's hosts finally stopped the rot through a second Lynn point.
After that Derry had just enough in the bag to keep their feisty opponents at arm's length, and when they nailed three of the last four points of the game the first victory of the season was secured.
Scorers - Derry: E Bradley 1-5 (0-3fs), E Lynn 0-3, N Toner 0-2 (0-1f), M Bateson, T O'Brien, D Tallon, M Lynch, J Kielt 0-1 each. Offaly: N Dunne 0-7 (5fs), D Hogan, B Allen (1f) 0-2 each, B O'Dea, S Tierney 0-1 each.
Derry - O Hartin 8; M McEvoy 7, K Johnston 7, R Mooney 7; M Bateson 8, C McWilliams 8, C Doherty 8; C McAtamney 8, E Bradley 8; P McGrogan 9, E Lynn 8, B Heron 7; P Hagan 7, T O'Brien 8, N Toner 8. Subs: D Tallon 7 for Bateson (HT); M Lynch 7 for Hagan (42); J Kielt 7 for Heron (42); A Bradley 6 for McEvoy (70).
Offaly - B Rohan 9; D Hogan 8, P McConway 7, D Brady 7; D Dempsey 6, S Pender 6, N Darby 7; P Cunningham 8, C McNamee 7; B O'Dea 8, M Brazil 7, S Nally 7; B Allen 8, A Sullivan 8, N Dunne 9. Subs: J Hayes 6 for McNally (BC 19); J Lalor 6 for Brady (29); C Carroll 7 for O'Dea (HT); S Tierney 6 for Dunne (HT); S Doyle 6 for J Hayes (67).
REF - J Gilmartin (Sligo)