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Storming second stanza see’s Derry topple Donegal

Allianz Hurling Leagues Division 2B

Derry 3-18 Donegal 0-11

From Odhrán Crumley in Ballinascreen

Derry have maintained their 100% start to the season with a win over a resurgent Donegal side throughout a constant missile in Dean McGlinchey Park.

As always, the dead-eye marksman and Slaughtneil sharpshooter, Cormac O’Doherty led the charge from a scoring front.

The Oakleafers led by one at the break and almost took the hinges of the changing room door such was the ferocity of their start to the second half.

Alan Grant and Niall Ferris registering majors inside the first five minutes of the half to essentially kill the game and seal victory at such an early stage.

Substitutes, John Mullan and Mark McGuigan made an real impact hitting 1-4 apiece after being introduced, the latter grabbing a rather fortuitous lobbed goal.

CLOSE KNIT

That man Declan Coulter opened the scoring after just two minutes of action capping off a fine move.

Cormac O’Doherty started as he would mean to go on nailing a long range free to open his teams account after eight minutes of action.

His counterpart and proverbial sparring partner for the evening, Declan Coulter would repeat the feat from the very next play.

Derry would take no time getting back into the lead as Richie Mullan grabbed two scores in as many minutes to put his team back into the lead.

Ciaran Matthewson and a brace from the ever reliable Coulter put the Donegal men back into a lead with ten minutes until the break.

Neither side could get the upper hand in the contest at this juncture as both teams battled from midfield domination. Derry opting for a short game while their counterparts preserved with long direct ball towards their inside line.

O’Doherty levelled proceedings for a third time before Niall Ferris and Alan Grant landed scores to put John McEvoy’s charges two, to the good.

Lee Henderson and Coulter from a close range free levelled as the game headed into first half additional time.

The man of the moment was not going to let his side go in level and produced a moment of sheer class, nailing a side line cut to perfection, splitting the posts with the final action of the half.

HALF TIME: DERRY 0-9 DONEGAL 0-8

Whatever John McEvoy said at half time must have resonated with his charges as they flew out of the blocks for the second half.

O’Doherty extended the lead to two after just thirty seconds of play from a placed ball.

Naoise Waldron added a score before Niall Ferris registered the first of two majors in as many minutes shooting low past Paul Burns.

From the next attack Derry gathered the restart as O’Doherty found Alan Grant who riffled the ball into the net with great authority to give his side an eight point cushion.

John Mullan made an instant impact on the game after coming on as a substitute scoring with his first touch before adding a second not long after, putting his hand up for a starting berth next time out.

Mark McGuigan, O’Doherty and Grant added further scores as the Tir Chonaill failed to register a score in 20 minutes.

Coulter and Danny Cullen appeared to stop the rot and added scores in an attempt to give the scoreboard a better reading for the Tir Chonaill supporters.

This would all be in vein as the strength in depth of the Derry panel showed as another substitute Mark McGuigan landed a third major capitalising on a defensive error before lobbing the goalkeeper and sending the ball into the net.

The Slaughtneil sharpshooter added another score to put the icing firmly on the cake in a fine display in difficult conditions for both teams.

John McEvoy’s side now prepare to travel to Kildare in a fortnight’s time as the leagues two unbeaten sides go head to head.

Derry: Sean Kelly, Conor Kelly, Sean Cassidy, Darragh McCloskey, Paddy Kelly, Brian Og McGilligan, Liam Hinphey, Paul Cleary, Thomas Brady, Meehaul McGrath, Cormac O’Doherty (0-9 8f), Richie Mullan (0-2), Alan Grant (1-1), Naoise Waldron (0-1), Niall Ferris (1-1).

Subs: Ruaidhri McCartney for Darragh McCloskey (24), Mark McGuigan (1-2) for Thomas Brady (HT), Sé McGuigan for Richie Mullan (0-2) (HT), John Mullan for Meehaul McGrath (50), Cian Waldron for Liam Hinphey (51)

Donegal: Paul Burns, Conor Parke, Stephen Gillespie, Padraig Doherty, Ciaran Matthewson (0-1), Danny Cullen (0-1), Sean McVeigh, Jack O’Loughlin, Joe Boyle, Gavin Browne, Lee Henderson (0-1), Ronan McDermott, Declan Coulter (0-8 5f), Oisin Rooney, Kevin Kealy (0-1).

Subs: Aiden Stokes for Oisin Rooney (HT), Patrick Hannigan for Dylan Duffy (44), Jamie De Ward for Kevin Kealy (59), Dylan Lafferty for Paul Burns (70)

Referee: Liam Gordon (Galway)

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