BANK OF IRELAND DR McKENNA CUP
Derry 2-14 Ulster University 3-10
Michael McMullan at Celtic Park
DAMIAN McErlain's first game as Derry manager began with a one point victory over Ulster University in an open and entertaining game at Celtic Park.
McErlain started with eight players he managed at minor level in a youthful lineup. He also handed debuts to Conor McCluskey, Ruairi Mooney, Padraig McGrogan, Jordan Curran and Sean McKeever.
It was the Jordanstown side who dominated the early exchanges and led 0-3 to 0-1 after seven minutes, as they put a full press on the Derry kick-out.
After a slow start Derry hit back when Enda Lynn palmed home a 17 minute goal from a Conor Doherty pass to open a slender 1-3 to 0-5 lead.
Points from Paddy Coney, Michael McEvoy and man of the match Ruairi Mooney helped Derry into a narrow 1-6 to 0-8 interval lead.
At the start of the second-half, Derry were on top but registered three wides before a Terrence O'Brien penalty put UU 1-9 to 1-6 in front after 35 minutes.
Jordanstown were reduced to 14 men with the needless 45th minute red card shown to Rory Brennan for striking Enda Lynn.
The experienced trio of Mark Lynch, Conor McAtamney and James Kielt had a significant impact on the second-half. Points from Kielt (2) and Enda Lynn had the Oakleafers back on level terms.
Derry were rocked by a Danny Tallon goal, but bounced back in the next attack with a James Kielt thunderbolt to the net and a Lynch point put Derry into the lead with 12 minutes to play.
McFaul tagged on two late points and Derry cruising by four in the closing stages. But McErlain's side shipped a Ruairi McGlone goal with the last kick of the game.
It was a winning start for Derry, but it took a string of saves from goalkeeper Ben McKinless to keep the students at bay.
Derry's next game is a trip to the Athletic Grounds (Sunday 2.00) to face Armagh, who were five point winners over Down in round one.
DERRY: Ben McKinless, Conor McCluskey, Kevin Johnston, Ruairi Mooney (0-1), Padraig McGrogan, Michael McEvoy (0-1), Jordan Curran, Jack Doherty, Patrick Kearney, Conor Doherty, Ciaran McFaul (0-3, 1f), Paddy Coney (0-1), Enda Lynn(1-3) Niall Toner, Peter Hagan (0-1f).
SUBS: Conor McAtamney for P Kearney (HT), James Kielt (1-2) for C Doherty (HT), Liam McGoldrick for J Curran (HT), Mark Lynch (0-2) for N Toner (47), Sean McKeever for P McGrogan (55).
ULSTER UNIVERSITY: Sean Fox, Cillian McCann, Conor Burke, Malachy Magee, Rory Brennan (0-1), Ronan McNamee, Gareth McKinless, Johnny Monroe (0-2), Fintan McClure, Ryan McAnespie (0-1), Danny Tallon (1-0), David Mulgrew (0-4f), Eoin McHugh, Terence O’Brien (1-2, 1 pen, 1 ‘45’), Daire Gallagher.
SUBS: Barry Grant for C Burke (HT), Oisin Duffin for G McKinless, (HT), Ruairi McGlone (1-0) for F McClure (43), Matthew Walsh for D Gallagher (50), Sean Loughrey for J Monroe (64), Lorcan Harney for Danny Tallon (70).
REF: Ciaran Mooney (Down).
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