Derry finish with a flourish after Kielt goal lays platform
Derry 2-15 Monaghan 2-11
Following on their O'Fiach Cup success, Derry got their Dr McKenna Cup campaign off to a winning start when they proved too strong for Monaghan in this entertaining, high-scoring game in Clones.
Monaghan enjoyed their best spell in the opening quarter, at the end of which they led by three points.
However, for the remainder of the first half, it was Derry who made the running with two well-executed goals by Enda Lynn and James Kielt.
Those goals helped the visitors to open up a three-point lead.
By half-time, though, Monaghan had pulled it back to the minimum with an opportunist goal by Ryan Wylie to leave Derry leading by 2-4 to 1-6.
Monaghan gave the home crowd something to cheer about when they briefly took the lead in the opening minutes of the second half with a goal by Christopher McGuinness.
But thereafter, Derry increased the tempo to hit seven points without reply between the ninth and 24th minutes to open a four-point lead and seize the initiative again.
Monaghan reduced the margin to two with a brace from Jack McCarron but it was Derry who finished the stronger team, hitting three points as against one by Monaghan in the closing minutes to seal a deserved victory.
SCORERS -- Derry: J Kielt 1-5 (0-2fs), E Lynn 1-1, M Lynch 0-2, O Duffy, C Kielt, SL McGoldrick, C McFaul, D Mullan, E McGuckin, B Herron 0-1 each. Monaghan: C McGuinness 1-1, R Wylie 1-0 (f), J McCarron 0-3 (1f), P Finlay, P McKenna 0-2, D McKenna (f), K Hughes, V Corey 0-1 each.
DERRY -- T Mallon; D Brown, O Duffy, M McShane; C Kielt, C McWilliams, SL McGoldrick; F Doherty, M Lynch; C McFaul, J Kielt, E Lynn; D Mullan, E McGuckin, B Heron. Subs: G O'Kane for F Doherty, C McGoldrick for E Lynn, A Kerrigan for D Mullan.
MONAGHAN -- R Beggan; C Boyle, K Duffy, R Wylie; F Kelly, D Mone, P McKenna; G Doogan, K Hughes; D Malone, J McCarron, S Carey; CMcGuinness, P Finlay, D McKenna. Subs: T Kerr for D Malone, P Donaghy for S Carey, S Smyth for D McKenna, P Keenan for C Boyle, V Corey for G Doogan.
REF -- C Branagan (Down).