Red cards pile on misery for Antrim
There was late controversy as Derry deservedly beat Antrim in a disappointing match at Casement Park.
The visitors would have won by even more but for their wastefulness in attack -- they shot 16 wides -- while it was a double sending-off in the closing seconds that provided the talking point.
Excellent Derry attacker Conleth Gilligan and Antrim sub Aaron Douglas pushed each other, fell to the ground and rolled around with the game three minutes into injury-time.
Referee Padraig Hughes flashed the red card at both players and then threw in the ball before blowing the final whistle.
There wasn't a dirty foul in the whole match but Hughes also saw fit to show the yellow card on four occasions -- twice to Antrim's Mark Sweeney, who was given his marching orders on 20 minutes.
Derry raced from the blocks and but for a string of wides could have put the result beyond doubt after half an hour.
At the break, they led by 1-7 to 0-4. Centre-forward Caolan O'Boyle blasted the ball home from close range when he was sent through after good link play between Paddy Bradley and Martin Donaghy on 19 minutes.
The second half was poor fare with Derry well in control. So much so that corner-back Michael Bateson and half-back Gerard O'Kane, playing the extra player well, both got on the scoresheet.
Derry goalkeeper Michael Conlon cut out a number of dangerous dropping balls while, up front, Paddy Bradley, Gilligan, Mark Lynch and Eoin Bradley all rifled over points.
Man of the Match: Gerard O'Kane (Derry).
SCORERS -- Derry: C Gilligan 0-6 (4f), P Bradley 0-5, C O'Boyle 1-1, G O'Kane 0-3, M Lynch, M Bateson, E Bradley 0-1 each. Antrim: P Cunningham (3f), T McCann 0-4 each, A Gallagher 0-2, T O'Neill, M Dougan, M Armstrong 0-1 each.
DERRY -- M Conlon 7; M Bateson 6, K McCloy 7, D McBride 7; G O'Kane 8, B McGoldrick 7, M Donaghy 7; PJ McCloskey 7, M Friel 7; M Lynch 6, C O'Boyle 7, C Kielt 6; SL McGoldrick 6, P Bradley 7, C Gilligan 8. Subs: C McGoldrick 6 for Donaghy (43), E Bradley 6 for Friel (56), L Moore 5 for O'Boyle (57), J O'Kane for McCloy (61), D Mullan for Lynch (65).
ANTRIM -- C Kerr 7; K O'Boyle 5, R Johnston 5, M Johnston 5; C Brady 5, A Healy 6, C Murray 6; S Burke 5, A Gallagher 6; T O'Neill 5, K Brady 6, M Sweeney 4; P Cunningham 7, T McCann 8, B Neeson 5. Subs: S Finch 5 for Neeson (25), D Edwards 5 for Burke (41), M Armstrong 6 for O'Neill (47), M Dougan 5 for Brady (51), A Douglas 6 for O'Boyle (55).
REF -- P Hughes (Armagh).