McKENNA CUP ROUND 3
A second-half goal from Caolan Ward ensure Donegal won their second game of the season and hand Derry another defeat on Wednesday night at Celtic Park.
It was a low-scoring encounter with both teams playing with two and and times one player up front.
Conor O'Donnell controlled the game for Donegal, while Michael Langan was commanding at midfield and kicked three points.
Rory Gallagher made five changes to his starting 15 from their defeat to Monaghan including goalkeeper Odhrán Lynch who was making his second ever senior appearance.
Along with Ryan Bell, he was the one of the few shining lights and put his hand up for a regular stint in the number one jersey in the league.
Niall Toner, Conor McAtamney, Conor Doherty and Carlus McWilliams were the other changes from the Farney game.
The Coleraine and Slaughtneil players given a break after their All-Ireland hurling campaigns, though Liam McGoldrick saw some game time when he was introduced.
Donegal started with former St Columb's Derry 'keeper Michael Lynch as one of their four changes from their win over Monaghan.
In a drab first-half, it took three minutes for the opening score. Ethan O'Donnell had a goal chance deflected for a '45' by goalkeeper Lynch and up stepped Michael Langan to effortlessly stroke over the bar.
Read also: Derry fall to Monaghan in McKenna Cup opener. Click here...
Derry's response could've saw them find the net but despite Danny Tallon on the overlap, Ryan Bell jinked past Brendan McCole before splitting the posts.
A close range free from the lively Peadar Mogan was followed by an free from close to '45' metres from Emmett Bradley to level the game after 18 minute.
Mogan edged Donegal ahead before Caolan Ward raided forward to land a point for a Donegal side that spurned further chances. They dropped four shots short into Odhrán Lynch who had won all but two of his kick-outs.
Donegal were ahead (0-4 to 0-2) at the break and a left footed effort from Ryan Bell cut the margin to a single point but that's as close as it got. Langan, Daire Ó Baoil and a outside of the left boot effort from Ethan O'Donnell put the visitors 0-7 to 0-3 to the good.
Ben McCarron took a mark and slotted over with his last kick before being replaced. With 57 minutes remaining, Conor O'Donnell's pass found Caolan Ward who slammed emphatically to the net for the clinching goal.
Conor McCluskey got on the overlap before slotting over before three late Bell points gave a degree of respectability to the scoreline.
Derry open their NFL at Celtic Park on Saturday, January 25 against Leitrim in a repeat of last season's division four decider, with Donegal welcoming Mayo.
Donegal: Michael Lynch; Brendan McCole, Conor Morrison; Paul Brennan; Jeaic McKelvey, Conor O'Donnell, Caolan Ward (1-1); Caolan McGonagle, Michael Langan (0-3, 1'45'); Daire Ó Baoill (0-1), Eoin McHugh, Ethan O'Donnell (0-1); Michael Carroll; Peadar Mogan (0-2, 1f), Eoghan McGettigan.
Subs: Ciaran Thompson for M Carroll (42), Daniel Clarke for E McGettigan (48), Andrew McClean (0-1) for E O;'Donnell (55), Ciaran Diver (0-1) for E McHugh (58), Aaron Deaney for C Ward (61).
Derry: Odhrán Lynch; Conor McCluskey (0-1), Cathal Mulholland; Padraig McGrogan; Carlus McWilliams; Ryan Dougan; Conor Doherty; Emmett Bradley (0-1f), Ciaran McFaul, Conor McAtamney; Danny Tallon, Niall Toner, Eoghan Duffy; Ben McCarron (0-1m), Ryan Bell (0-5, 2f).
Subs: Christopher Bradley for N Toner (29), Declan Cassidy for C McAtamney (46), Oran Armstrong for B McCarron (50), Liam McGoldrick for R Dougan (52), Oisin McWilliams for E Duffy (57), Peter Hagan for O McWilliams (62).
Yellow cards: C McAtamney (13), C Doherty (32), C McFaul (37).
Ref: Sean Laverty (Antrim).
NFL Division 3
Saturday, January 25 - Derry v Leitrim (5.00 Celtic Park)
Saturday, February 1 - Down v Derry (7.00 Páirc Esler)
Sunday, February 9 - Derry v Tipperary (1.00 Owenbeg)
Sunday, February 23 - Derry Louth (2.00 Owenbeg)
Sunday, March 1 - Cork v Derry (2.00 Páirc Uí Chaoimh)
Sunday, March 15 - Derry v Longford (2.00 Celtic Park)
Sunday, March 22 - Offaly v Derry (2.00 Tullamore)
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