Dr McKenna Cup Section B
Monaghan 2-11
Derry 2-15

DERRY followed up December’s Ó Fiaich Cup success with a victory in the opening round of the Dr McKenna Cup over Monaghan at Clones.

It was the Ulster champions who started the brightest on an admirable St. Tiernach’s Park which did its best to withstand January conditions.

Fielding largely an experimental side, Malachy O’Rourke sat back and watched Daniel McKenna take centre stage early on as the lively corner forward caused the Derry backline all sorts of problems.  McKenna reeled in the first free and dispatched of it himself before Jack McCarron flicked up a breaking ball to himself and fired over.

Although Charlie Kielt responded, wing back Paudie McKenna hit two beauties for the hosts as Derry struggled to find their feet.  Declan Mullan did raise a white flag though before Enda Lynn burst through after a surging run and buried one to the bottom right hand corner past Beggan.

Within moments, Mark Lynch had rattled the post and, although Paul Finlay curled a scorcher with the outside of his boot, James Kielt palmed home after a cutting Derry move presented the centre forward with an open goal.

Monaghan responded just before the break when a high ball into the Derry square saw Fergal Doherty bundled over but, with Down referee Ciaran Branagan waving play away, Ryan Wylie was at hand to poke home and leave Monaghan trailing by one in a 2-4 to 1-6 game at half time.

There was panic for Derry though when Chris McGuinness rebounded his own shot into the goal to add to Finlay’s opening second half score and put Monaghan three up.  But seven scores without reply for the Oak Leafers did the damage as Brian McIver’s side powered home.

Sean Leo McGoldrick, James Kielt and Enda Lynn drew the away side level before Declan Mullan and Ciaran McFaul joined in on the act, sandwiching further James Kielt and Mark Lynch scores.

Jack McCarron did huff for Monaghan with a couple of late frees but the writing was on the wall and Derry finished the stronger.

THE TEAMS

Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy, Ryan Wylie (1-0); Fintan Kelly, Dessie Mone, Paudie McKenna (0-2); Gavin Doogan (0-1), Kieran Hughes, Dermot Malone, Jack McCarron (0-3f), Shane Carey, Christopher McGuinness (1-1), Paul Finlay (0-2), Daniel McKenna (0-2, 0-1f)

Subs: Karl O’Connell for Ryan Wylie (Blood sub 41, reversed 45), Thomas Kerr for Malone (41), Shane Smyth for Daniel McKenna (57), Padraic Keenan for Boyle (64), Daniel McMahon for Doogan (65)

Derry: Thomas Mallon; Declan Brown, Oisin Duffy (0-1), Michael McShane; Carlus McWilliams, Charlie Kielt (0-1), Sean Leo McGoldrick (0-1); Fergal Doherty, Mark Lynch (0-2, 0-1f); Ciaran McFaul (0-1), James Kielt (1-6, 0-3f), Enda Lynn (1-1); Declan Mullan (0-2), Emmett McGuckin (0-1), Benny Heron

Subs: Patsy Bradey for Doherty (49), Ciaran McGoldrick for Lynn (49), Aaron Kerrigan for Mullan (58), Niall Holly for Heron (58)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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