Friday 23 February 2018

Ice-cool Derry fight back to turn up the heat on Cavan

Derry1-12 Cavan 1-11

Derry's Emmett Bradley faces off against Cavan's Killian Clarke, Christopher Conroy and Seánie Johnston. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Derry's Emmett Bradley faces off against Cavan's Killian Clarke, Christopher Conroy and Seánie Johnston. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Derry's Chrissy McKaigue in action against Cavan's Cian Mackey. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Derry demonstrated true grit at a freezing Kingspan/Breffni Park on Saturday night to maintain their 100pc record after two rounds of the league.

The Oak Leafers produced a brilliant rearguard action in the final 15 minutes to leave Cavan still pointless.

Damien Barton's men had the better start but still trailed by the odd point in seven after 22 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Derry in the 26th minute when Ryan Bell saw his tame penalty saved by Cavan 'keeper Galligan.

Cavan got a lift from Bell's ill-fortune and two wonder points from Gearoid McKiernan helped them secure a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead.

In truth, Cavan should have been further ahead at the break but their profligacy saw them notch eight wides in the opening half by the blues - double their opponents' tally.


The wind-aided Derrymen were a much more threatening outfit on the restart and a palmed goal from Cailean O'Boyle 90 seconds into the half left Cavan nursing a two-point deficit.

The visitors' lead was anything but secure though in a free-flowing game that was played at a championship-like pace throughout.

As the second half progressed, Derry dispensed with much of their first-half flowery football in favour of a more direct approach.

A great long-range point from James Kielt and an inspirational effort (53) from half-back Daniel Heavron had Derry enjoying a three-point cushioned lead.

The game was turned on its head though in the 55th minute when Michael Argue whipped home a soccer-like goal to make it 1-8 apiece.

Derry responded in gutsy fashion though and Mark Lynch fired over three deadly frees to give his side the lead again and renewed momentum.

Cavan launched a series of attacks in the dregs of the game but a series of brilliant blocks by the Derry rearguard copper-fastened the Oak Leafers' superiority.

Man Of the Match: Mark Craig (Derry)

Scorers - Cavan: M Argue (1-0);E Keating (0-1, f); G McKiernan (0-3, 1f); M Reilly (0-1, 1f)P O'Connor (0-1); C Mackey (0-1) D Givney (0-1); D McVeety (0-1); T Corr (0-1); S Johnston (0-1, f). Derry: C O'Boyle (1-0); M Lynch (0-3, 3f) ; J Kielt (0-2,1f); C Mc Faul (0-2); M Craig (0-1); E Bradley (0-1); B Heron (0-1); D Heavron (0-1); S Heavron (0-1).

Cavan - R Galligan 7; P Faulkner 7, K Clarke 7, K Brady 6; C Brady 6, C Moynagh 6, F Flanagan 6; D Givney 6, G McKiernan 8; M Reilly 7, T Corr 6, D McVeety 7; C Mackey 7, E Keating 6, P O'Connor 6.

Subs: M Argue 7 for Brady (47); J Hayes 6 for McVeety (50); S Johnston 6 for O'Connor (53); T Hayes 6 for Keating (60); C Conroy 6 for McKiernan (BC 64); E Henry for S Johnston (BC 74).

Derry - E McNicholl 7; K McKaigue 7, C McKaigue 7, C Mullan 8; G McKinless 7, M Craig 8, D Heavron 7; E Bradley 6, M Lynch 8; B Heron 6 , C McFaul 7, C Bradley 7; C O'Boyle 7, R Bell 6, J Kielt 7.

Subs: E McGuckin 6 for O'Boyle (46); N Loughlin 6 for Bell (51); S Heavron 7 for Heron (56); C McAtamney for Bradley (68); D McKinless for Bradley (72); N Forester for McKinless (73).

Ref - P Neilan (Roscommon).

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