Opening day triumph for Derry, but boss Cassidyinsists rules will bring chaos
DERRY manager Damien Cassidy sounded a warning about the likely impact of the experimental disciplinary rules despite emerging from Ballina with an NFL Division 1 away win.
Cassidy couldn't believe that Derry had four players sent off on the yellow card system while Mayo had none.
And this, despite the match hardly rating on the Richter scale of Championship style hard-hitting physicality. Barry McGuigan, Patsy Bradley and debutant, Brian Og McAlary, were sent off in the first-half and corner-back Ryan Dillon followed them late in the second half.
Mayo could have had a couple of players ticked and at least been in danger of getting the yellow card, but ref Maurice Deegan let a few fouls go.
Had Derry lost, Cassidy and his men would have felt particularly hard done by, but their recovery from a point down at half-time, 0-6 to 0-5, to winning by two points avoided that issue.
"Obviously I'm disappointed that we ended up getting four players sent off. A couple of the sendings off, I couldn't really argue with to be honest, but the counter of that is how did Mayo not manage to get a player sent off?
"I can certainly see two tackles in particular that stand out in my mind as obvious yellow cards and they weren't implemented, but it's done and dusted. The game's over. We've managed to come through it, even with those circumstances that we were faced with and I just think the rules are going to bring more trouble than they're worth before the League is finished.
"The fun of it all will come together when we come down to the last two or three games, when the relegation battles are starting to be big strong issues and that's when there'll be a lot more fun around the whole issue," he said.
'Fun' was not a particularly operative word applied to the match. It was full of honest endeavour and occasional bouts of good passing play, but both sets of defences, by and large, crowded out much of the attacking efforts on both sides.
Derry fielded five newcomers -- Sean Og McAlary, Chrissy McKaigue, Sean Leo McGoldrick, James Kielt, while Mayo had three U-21s in their line-up -- full-back Gerard Cafferky, centre-back Tom Cunniffe and corner-forward Michael Sweeney.
Of the eight NFL newcomers on the two sides, Derry corner-forward James Kielt had most reason for satisfaction, scoring 1-2.
Kielt's goal was the end product of good combining by Enda Lynn, Eoin Bradley and Paddy Bradley, who made the final pass for Kielt to hit the ball to the net.
At 0-7 to 1-6, Mayo were still well in it at that stage and Conor Mortimer's arrival as a sub helped inject some pace and fire into their attack.
Points by Mortimer and Ronan McGarrity brought Mayo level at 0-9 to 1-6 by the 54th minute, but from then to the end, Derry upped the stakes.
They got the scores to pull away from Mayo at the crucial stage of the match. Once Paul Cartin, Kielt and sub Paul Young had caused the white flag to be raised in a four-minute spell from the 62nd to 66th minutes, the game was won.
Mayo manager John O'Mahony commented: "It is disappointing to lose the game. I thought when we got level after they got the goal that we could have kicked on from there. Maybe in the first half we had a number of chances that we didn't utilise as much as we can.
"A lot of new players and young players got their opening chance in a Mayo jersey today.
"There are certain positives and that is what we have to look at going forward," he said.
Scorers -- Derry : J Kielt 1-2; B McGoldrick 0-3 (2f); S Bradley, F Doherty, P Cartin, P Young 0-1 each. Mayo: A Dillon 0-3 (3f); A Moran 0-2 (1 45); C Mortimer 0-2 (1f); T Parsons, P Gardiner, R McGarrity 0-1(45) each.
Derry --S McGuckian; B Og McAlary, B McGuigan, R Dillon; P Cartin, J O'Kane, C McKaigue; F Doherty, P Bradley; E Lynn, B McGoldrick, SL McGoldrick; J Kielt, E Bradley, S Bradley. Subs: G O'Kane for B McGuigan (YC, 15); J Diver for Patsy Bradley (YC, 20); P Young for B Og McAlary (YC, 35); Paddy Bradley for S Bradley (43); B Mullan for B McGoldrick (50), D McBride for R Dillon (YC, 64).
Mayo -- D Clarke; L O'Malley, G Cafferkey, D Vaughan; P Gardiner, T Cunniffe, P Kelly; T Parsons, R McGarrity; BJ Padden, T Mortimer, A Dillon; A Moran, B Moran, M Sweeney. Subs: C Mortimer for B J Padden (49); P Harte for T Parsons (49); A O'Shea for T Mortimer (51); M Rolandson for M Sweeney (65); K McLoughlin for D Vaughan (69).
Ref -- M Deegan (Laois).