Allianz NFL Division Two final
Dublin 4-6 Derry 0-11
By Michael McMullan
DUBLIN avenged their earlier defeat to Derry by landing the Division Two title in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Dubs trailed 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval but hit four second half goals against a Derry team that lost skipper Conor Glass to a “nipped hamstring” minutes after the restart.
Derry began without Chrissy McKaigue and Eoin McEvoy didn’t start, with Dean Rock limping off early on for the Dubs.
The Oaks raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 18 minutes, but were lucky to see John Small blaxe over ant Tom Lahiff have a shot saved by Odhran Lynch to level matters at 0-4 each.
Niall Loughlin had a shot saved by O’Hanlon with Derry adding points from McGuigan to lead 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
A diagonal ball was flicked to the net by Killian O’Gara early in the second half before Derry’s afternoon caved in.
Glass was replaced and when Con O’Callaghan, not playing closer to goal, was fouled by Conor McCluskey up stepped Paul Mannion to drill home the second goal.
Small blasted a third with Derry needing Lynch to deny Bugler and the post to save Daire Newcombe further goal chances.
By the time Lorcan O’Dell lobbed a fourth goal, Paul Cassidy hit back with a couple of scores but there was no way back for Derry.
Rory Gallagher’s side now open the defence of their Ulster title with a trip to Brewster Park to take on his native Fermanagh on Saturday, April 15.
Dublin: David O’Hanlon; Michael Fitzsimons , Davy Byrne, Daire Newcombe; Cian Muprhy, John Small (1-1), Lee Gannon (0-1); Brian Fenton (0-1), James McCarthy; Tom Lahiff (0-1), Con O’Callaghan, Sean Bugler; Colm Basquel, Dean Rock, Killian O’Gara (1-1)
Subs: Ciaran Kilkenny (0-1) for D Rock (INJ 8), Lorcan O’Dell (1-0) for C Basquel (44), Paul Mannion (1-0 pen) for K O’Gara (44), Niall Scully for T Lahiff (54), Ross McGarry for S Bulger (67)
Derry: Odhran Lynch; Paudi McGrogan (0-1 45), Conor McCluskey; Conor Doherty; Paul Cassidy (0-2), Gareth McKinless, Padraig Cassidy; Conor Glass (0-1), Brendan Rogers; Niall Toner (0-1f), Ben McCarron, Ethan Doherty, Benny Heron, Shane McGuigan (0-6, 3f), Niall Loughlin
Subs: Lachlan Murray for B McCarron (35), Shea Downey for C Glass (INJ 38, Niall O’Donnell for E Doherty (blood sub 46, reversed 51), Matthew Downey for B Heron (56), Eoin McEvoy for P McGrogan (67), Niall O’Donnell for B Rogers (73)
Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo)