McGurk excited by Ring promotion
Derry 3-23 Armagh 2-15
Derry hurling manager Colm McGurk believes that his side are well capable of operating at a higher level and he is looking forward to playing in the Christy Ring Cup after their success over Armagh at Croke Park on Saturday.
Derry were untouchable in the second-half of the Nicky Rackard Cup final - Alan Grant's goal gave them a 1-9 to 0-6 half-time lead, but two further strikes from Gerard Bradley and Brian Cassidy sealed a comprehensive 11-point win.
Armagh's Ryan Gaffney offered resistance with a pair of goals but Derry were strong and McGurk says they are aiming for bigger and better things.
"I hope we have a few other players that we need to look at. That's our aim now to get up a league and to aim to be back here in a year's time," added McGurk at Croke Park.
Five of the seven teams in this year's Nicky Rackard Cup were from Ulster and this was another hotly-contested derby.
But there was only ever going to be one winner once Grant latched onto Brendan Rogers' pass and found the net in the seventh minute.
Armagh lacked the fire-power up front and as Derry unleashed their bench throughout the second-half, Armagh had no answer.
"We are delighted with it. We started a bit slow but we came into our own and Gerard Bradley had a massive game for us. Brian Cassidy up front turned the screws a bit in the second-half so it was good to get over the line," said McGurk.
"We hadn't been playing Brendan Rogers and Chris McKaigue because of their football commitments but we thought that we would need their power against a team of Armagh's physicality.
"Kevin Hinhpey - we knew that we would need stuff coming off the bench and we didn't start Kevin because we wanted to make sure that he lasted and whenever he did come on that he would give us that same boost that the two footballers gave us against Monaghan, and that told."
Scorers - Derry: A Grant 1-5 (0-4f), G Bradley 1-3, B Cassidy 1-4, R Convery 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 65), C McKaigue 0-3, B Rogers 0-3, C Doherty 0-1. Armagh: D Carv ill 0-7 (0-6f), R Gaffney 2-0, C Carvill 0-3, E McGuinness 0-2, N Curry 0-1, C Corvan 0-1, D Gaffney 0-1.
Derry - D McDermott 7; P Turner 6, S Cassidy 7, D McCloskey 6; P Cleary 7, O McCloskey 6, L Óg Hinphey 7; C McAllister 7, C McKaigue 8; G Bradley 8, M McGrath 7, A Grant 8; B Rogers 8, B Cassidy 8, C Waldron 6. Subs: K Hinphey 8 for Grant (12), Grant for Hinphey (13), K Hinphey for McAllister (22), N Waldron 6 for Turner (h-t), S McCullagh 6 for Cleary (38), C Doherty 6 for C Waldron (46), R Convery 7 for Grant (56), Cleary for McCullagh (52), B Óg McGilligan 6 for Cleary (59).
Armagh - S Doherty 7; C Clifford 6, A McGuinness 6, T Nevin 6; J Corvan 6, N Curry 7, C Devlin 6; P Gaffney 7, O Curry 6; D Carvill 8, E McGuinness 6, C Corvan 7; D McKenna 7, R Gaffney 8, C Carvill 6. Subs: F Bradley 7 for McKenna (31), D Magee 6 for A McGuiness (h-t), D Gaffney 6 for E McGuinness (60), D Bridges 6 for Devlin (63), C Gorman 6 for C Corvan (71).
Ref - Shane Hynes (Galway).