A late Oisin McWilliams goal wasn’t enough to prevent Derry from falling at home to Cavan on Saturday afternoon at a sun-drenched Owenbeg.
Ben McCarron, with an injury, and the suspended Padraig McGrogan were missing from the Oaks' mid-week draw with Antrim.
It was an open game of football, with a slick and accurate Cavan side edging it in the end.
Derry opened the scoring with two Mark McGrogan points and one from Oisin McWilliams.
Cavan, with the wind at their back, were soon level through Cormac O’Reilly (2) and Karl Cosgrove.
The Breffni side almost had a goal but Tiernan Reilly’s shot was brilliantly saved by Oisin Hartin.
Cian Madden had Cavan 0-8 to 0-3 ahead before Mark McGrogan finished a Derry goal, followed by a free to put the back in contention.
Bellaghy’s Paul Cassidy levelled the game at the break, 1-5 to 0-8.
Frees from Madden and Cosgrove put Cavan into the lead but then Derry lost Martin Bradley to a straight red card, after referee Enda McFeely consulted with his umpires.
Alex Doherty levelled the game and Paul Cassidy almost had a goal but for a save from Gary O’Rourke.
Rogers and midfielder Gareth Mannion put Cavan ahead but back came Derry with a point from substitute Conleth McGuckin.
A second Mark McGrogan goal, slide neatly beyond O’Rourke, put Derry 2-8 to 0-13 ahead after 46 minutes.
Points from Cavan subs Darragh Dolan, with his first touch, and Micheál Muldoon helped the visitors into a 0-17 to 2-9 lead with three minutes to play.
Mark McGrogan put a point between the teams and had a chance to level the game from a further free.
But he worked it short to engineer a goal and McGuckin’s overcooked pass to Alex Doherty was cut out by the Cavan defence.
At the other end Cosgrove popped over the insurance point in stoppage time.
The game then sparked into life when Dara Rafferty’s pass was finished to the net by Oisin McWilliams for what looked like the winning goal.
Luke Molloy levelled the game before Philip Rogers fisted over the bar in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Cavan: Gary O’Rourke, John Cooke, Patrick Meade, Philip Nulty, Danny Cusack, Ben Smith, Philip Rogers (0-3), Luke Molloy (0-1), Gareth Mannion (0-1), Karl Cosgrove (0-6, 3f), Cian Madden (0-3, 1f), Diarmuid Carney, Cormac O’Reilly (0-2), Tiernan Reilly (0-1), Oisin Brady (0-1).
Subs: Micheál Muldoon (0-1) for C O’Reilly, Darragh Dolan (0-1) for D Cusack, Ciaran Smith for D Carney,
Derry: Oran Hartin, Tiernan Woods, Conor McCluskey, Oran McGill, Simon McErlain, Martin Bradley, Sean McKeever, Dara Rafferty, Fintan Bradley, Iarlaith Donaghy, Oisin McWilliams (1-1), Ethan Doherty, Mark McGrogan (2-4. 4f), Paul Cassidy (0-3), Alex Doherty (0-1).
Subs: Eunan Mulholland for T Woods (20), Conleth McGuckin (0-1) for I Donaghy, Ruairi Rafferty for E Doherty, Jude McAtamney for O McGill,
Ref: Enda McFeely (Donegal).
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