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24 May 2022

Derry hurlers show no mercy to Mayo

Derry hurlers show no mercy to Mayo

Na Magha's Deaghlan Foley in action for Derry against Mayo on Sunday at Owenbeg. Pics by Mary K Burke

Derry 4-24 . . . Mayo 1-14

Derry proved far too strong for Mayo in hurling’s Division 2B yesterday at Owenbeg.

The Oakleaf men fired home a brace of goals in both halves to brush aside the challenge of Mayo. Deaghlan Foley top scored for the winners with 1-4, with Odhran McKeever, Sean Kelly and John Mullan all impressing and raising green flags.

Despite missing injured Slaughtneil men Sean Cassidy and Gerald Bradley, the Oakleafers impressed right from the throw-in.

Despite battling the elements, their basics were spot on – slick stickwork and lung busting conditioning both formed the foundation for victory. Manager Dominic McKinley will bemoan his side’s high wide count, but with 4-24 on the scoring ledger the Antrim man will have enjoyed his day.

Once again the February weather made its presence felt at Owenbeg, where Derry, aided and abetted by a powerful breeze blowing from the scoreboard end raced to a fourteen point lead at half-time.

Ryan Butler scored the first goal of the game, slotting home after a goalkeeping mishap. But after that Derry assumed control.

Free taker Cormac O’Doherty was unerring from the dead ball, before goals from John Mullan and Odhran McKeever rubber stamped Derry’s authority on the first half.

Conor Kelly, Daragh McGilligan and a monster of a point from Na Magha man Deaghlan Foley signalled real intent from the Oakleafers.

John Mullan’s powerful run and goal in the 17th minute lit up proceedings, with clubmate Odhran McKeever’s athletic fetch and point also lifting spectators from their seats.

Foley followed up his early clinker with two more bombs from his own half before McKeever rifled home to confirm Derry’s complete authority.

A second point from Sean Kenny and Eoin Delaney, from an acute angle, brought the half-time scoreboard to 2-15 to 1-04.

Goals from Sean Kelly and the powerfully built Deaghlan Foley stretched their lead to a match winning one at 4-18 to 1-5 midway through the second period with Mayo struggled to even cling on to Oakleaf coat-tails.

Despite facing a particularly unhelpful breeze, Derry still kept their foot on Mayo’s throat. Sean Kelly and Conor Kelly both nailed points before the home side, with the game in the bag, eased down the gears in the final quarter.

A brace of frees from the evergreen Keith Higgins and fifth point from Sean Kenny kept the Mayo scoreboard tipping along, but it was all too little, too late.

Darragh McGilligan breaks the ball ahead of Mayo's Sean Kenny.

Table toppers Derry travel to meet rivals Donegal in Letterkenny next time out.

Scorers – Derry: D Foley 1-4, O McKeever 1-2, S Kelly 1-2, C O’Doherty 0-6fs, J Mullan 1-1, C Kelly 0-4, D McGilligan 0-2, C Hendry, M McGrath and F Bradley 0-1 each. Mayo: S Kenny 0-5 (4fs), E Delaney 0-4, R Butler 1-0, K Higgins 0-2fs, S Boland 0-1f, D Murray and A Ketterick 0-1 each.

Derry: Oisin O’Doherty, Ciaran Hendry, Mark Craig, Darragh McCloskey, Meehaul McGrath, Richie Mullan, Eamon McGill, Cormac O’Doherty, Darragh McGilligan, Sean Kelly, John Mullan, Conor Kelly, Deaghlan Foley, Odhran McKeever, Tiarnan McHugh

Subs: B McGilligan for T McHugh (17), F Bradley for S Kelly (50), N Farren for R Mullan (52), T McCloskey for C Kelly (52), R Mulholland for D McGilligan (63)

Mayo: Bobby Douglas, Gary Nolan, David Kenny, Daniel Huane, Brian Hunt, Keith Higgins, Conor Murray, Paul Kirwan, Sean Kenny, Eoin Delany, Adrian Phillips, Patrick Lyons, Conal Hession, Ryan Butler, Shane Boland

Subs: A Ketterick for R Butler (HT), D Hill for D Huane (42), J Lowe for S Boland (56), K Gallagher for A Phillips (60), M Walsh for P Lyons (66)

Referee: Kevin Parke (Antrim)

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