McErlain still wary of Leitrim
Derry 2-16 Leitrim 1-12
"It's very hard to say anything about Leitrim based on this performance," said Derry manager Damian McErlain after his side's win on Saturday evening.
"They have a bit of depth about them - they're a big, strong, physical and athletic side, and we know today bears no resemblance to what will happen in Croke Park."
Shadow-boxing ahead of the main event it may have been, but Derry produced a knockout win over Leitrim at Celtic Park. And Leitrim will have seven points to find when Division Four's top two meet again in the league final in two weeks' time at GAA HQ.
Shane Moran scored a fine brace midway through the first half on Saturday as Leitrim led 0-5 to 0-4, but late points from Shane McGuigan gave the Oakleafers a 0-8 to 0-7 advantage at the break.
Derry, however, stormed out of the blocks after the interval, and 1-7 without reply in the third quarter all but sealed the win.