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McGeever hat-trick inspires Derry

Derry 4-22 Warwickshire 2-7

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The home side went in 3-9 to 1-5 up at the break, their goals coming from McKeever, with two, and Tiarnan McHugh. (stock photo)

The home side went in 3-9 to 1-5 up at the break, their goals coming from McKeever, with two, and Tiarnan McHugh. (stock photo)

SPORTSFILE

The home side went in 3-9 to 1-5 up at the break, their goals coming from McKeever, with two, and Tiarnan McHugh. (stock photo)

Derry maintained their unbeaten start to the League with a straight-forward dismissal of struggling Warwickshire at a windswept Celtic Park on Saturday.

Odhran McKeever top-scored for the winners with three goals and three points, while free taker Cormac O'Doherty accounted for 10 points.

The home side went in 3-9 to 1-5 up at the break, their goals coming from McKeever, with two, and Tiarnan McHugh. Despite playing with a substantial breeze, the visitors struggled after Daire King's early goal for them. King's major in the sixth minute had left the Midlanders trailing by just one, at 1-3 to 1-2, but after that Derry stamped their authority on the contest despite the near monsoon conditions at times.

With Warwickshire losing Darren O'Neill to a straight red shortly after the restart, the Oak Leaf County cantered to victory in the second half. McKeever completed his hat-trick of goals in the 54th minute as, despite losing Meehaul McGrath to a 56th minute red, his charges ran out comfortable winners.

A third consecutive victory hands Derry a lofty perch at the top of the table, with a trip to Roscommon up next week ahead of a potential winner-takes-all meeting with unbeaten Kildare to follow.

Scorers - Derry: O McKeever 3-3; C O'Doherty 0-10 (5f); T McHugh 1-3; A Grant, J O'Dwyer 0-2 each; P Cleary, E Cassidy 0-1 each. Warwickshire: P Crehin 0-6 (6f); I Dwyer, D King 1-0 each; A Brooks 0-1.

Derry - S Kelly 8, P Kelly 7, B McGilligan 7, D Cartin 7, S O Caiside 7, E McGill 7, C Kelly 7, P Cleary 7, T Brady 7, S McCloskey 7, C O'Doherty 8, A Grant 8, E Cassidy 7, O McKeever 9, T McHugh 8. Subs: S Cassidy 7 for E McGill (24), R Mullan 7 for T Brady (h-t), M McGrath 6 for S Ó Caiside (44), J O'Dwyer 8 for T McHugh (50), C Gilmore 6 for C Kelly (55).

Warwickshire - P Crean 9, S Brough 7, R O'Donoghue 6, T Kelly 6, D Murphy 6, C Heeney 6, M O'Regan 6, R Curley 6, A Brooks 7, D King 7, I Dwyer 7, D O'Neill 6, R Duggan 6, P Crehan 8, F White 6. Subs: J McDermott 6 for S Brough (47), B Muldoon 6 for I Dwyer (65).

Ref - J Clarke (Cavan).

Indo Sport