McGrath helps Derry on way to victory
Derry 2-22 Armagh 0-10
Slaughtneil scoring power was too much for 14-man Armagh at Ballyshannon on Saturday.
Se McGuigan, Meehaul McGrath, Sean Cassidy, Cormac McKenna, Mark McGuigan, Gerard Bradley and Cormac O'Doherty scored freely against an extremely wasteful Armagh side that hit 10 wides in a wind and slope-assisted first-half.
The Orchard County's usually reliable marksman, David Carville, had a nightmare, hitting seven wides from scorable positions.
And their cause was dealt another severe blow when they lost recently returned full-back Nathan Curry for a straight red card for dangerous use of the hurley in the 26th minute.
The real turning point in the opening half was a 1-1 scoring blitz from McGrath in the 18th minute, when he grabbed a loose ball about 25 metres out and smashed it to the net through a forest of defenders.
Seconds later McGrath struck again when he added another point to push Derry into a commanding 1-6 to 0-2 lead.
They led by 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval and another quick second-half goal from Se McGuigan sealed matters.
Derry were never in any real bother in the second-half, but the towering Slaughtneil contingent continued to show their power.
This was Derry's first victory in an otherwise disappointing NHL campaign.
They are now looking forward to the probable return of Slaughtneil's Karl McCague, Chrissy McCague and Brendan Rogers as they look forward to challenging in the Christy Ring Cup.
Scorers - Derry: S McGuigan 1-2, M McGrath 1-1, A Grant (4f) 0-4, G Bradley 0-3, M McGuigan, C O'Doherty, N Waldron 0-3 each, A O'Donnell, L Murphy, J Phelan 0-1 each.
Armagh; D Carville 0-3 (2f), C McAnallen (1f), K McKernan, E McGuinness 0-2 each, R Gaffney 0-1 (f).
Derry - M Kirkpatrick 6; D McCloskey 6 , S Cassidy 7 , N Farren 6 ; J Phelan 6, C McKenna 7 , P Cleary 6 ; M McGuigan 8 G Bradley 8 ; C O'Doherty 8 , M McGrath 8 , A Grant 7 ; N Waldron 7, S McGuigan 8 , A O'Donnell 7. Subs: L Murphy, for S McGuigan (44), P Turner for D McCloskey (55) C Steele for N Waldron (57), D Cartin for A O'Donnell (60), J Mullan for A Grant (63).
Armagh - S Doherty 6; O Curry 6 , N Curry 5 , D Bridges 6; C McAnallen 6 , J Corvan 5, B Short 5; S Renaghan 5 , K McKernan 6; D Carville 5 , R Gaffney 6, D McKenna 6; D McCreesh 5, E McGuinness 5 P McGrane 5. Subs: L Woods for McCreesh (h-t), D Grant for McGuinness (61), D McGrane for P McGrane (65)
Ref - J Connors (Donegal)