NFL Division Two
Derry 0-16 Limerick 0-4
By Michael McMullan
DERRY got their league campaign off to a winning start at home to Limerick on Saturday afternoon.
On a day that Conor Glass captained the Oakleafers for the first time, they led 0-7 to 0-2 at half time.
It was comfort and dominance with Derry hitting five wides in an opening half they totally bossed.
Lachlan Murray had the ball in the net in the opening attack, but Ethan Doherty was disallowed for the ball be carried too far in the buildup.
Paul Cassidy opened the scoring with Niall Toner (free) and Shane McGuigan making it 0-3 to 0-0 before Adrian Enright fisted the visitors’ first point from an acute angle after 13 minutes.
Derry’s defence were impossible to break down and they’d energy on the counter-attack.
McGuigan and Toner added points to cement Derry’s first half performance.
Points from Gordon Brown and Iain Corbett had Limerick back to 0-8 to 0-4 by the 50th minute before failing to raise a flag for the rest of the game.
McGuigan took his tally to nine points in a half that saw Derry use their bench to hand a league debut to Niall O’Donnell on the way to a comfortable win.
Limerick almost grabbed a late goal when Colm McSweeney found himself in space, but All-Star defender Chrissy McKaigue – playing in his 100th game at league and championship level – was on hand to make the block.
Derry take the win into a trip to Louth next weekend and Eoin McEvoy’s performance at full back will give Rory Gallagher and the management food for thought at the shape of the team with Brendan Rogers at midfield.
Derry: Shane McGuigan 0-9 (4f, 1m), Niall Toner 0-4 (0-2f), Paul Cassidy 0-2, Lachlan Murray 0-1
Limerick: James Naughton (f), Gordon Brown, Adrian Enright and Ian Corbett 0-1 each
Derry: Odhran Lynch; Conor McCluskey; Chrissy McKaigue, Eoin McEvoy; Gareth McKinless; Paudi McGrogan, Conor Doherty; Conor Glass, Brendan Rogers; Paul Cassidy, Shane McGuigan, Ethan Doherty; Niall Toner; Benny Heron, Lachlan Murray
Subs: Padraig Cassidy for G McKinless (51), Oisin McWilliams for E Doherty (54), Niall Loughlin for B Heron (64), Niall O’Donnell for C Glass (69), Ben McCarron for L Murray (72)
Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan; David Connolly, Sean O’Dea, Barry Coleman; Iain Corbett; Brian Fanning, Cillian Fahy, Michael Donovan; Cian Sheehan, Gordon Brown; Paul Maher, James Naughton, Davy Lyons; Adrian Enright, Cathal Downes
Subs: Robbie Bourke for B Fanning’ (HT), Hugh Bourke for D Lyons (50), Colm McSweeney for B Coleman (56), Peter Nash for A Enright (65), Killian Ryan for C Downes (69)
Black card: P Maher (61)
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)