Derry go into the hat for Monday's SFC Qualifier Round 2A draw after they seeing off Waterford in their opening round clash at Fraher Field this afternoon.
The hosts almost pulled off the shock of the season against Cork in the Munster quarter-final at the same venue last month, losing out by the narrowest of margins, but were unable to build on a promising first half against the Oak Leafers who never looked back after Danny Heavron raised the game's only green flag with 20 minutes to go. A tally of 16 wides, however, suggests that they have a lot to improve on if they're to enjoy another extended backdoor run.
With 1,067 spectators looking on, the visitors signalled their intent with four early points from Niall O'Loughlin (two), Danny Tallon and Ciaran McFaul. But the Deise gradually got themselves back into it thanks to scores from Gavin Crotty, Tommy Prendergast and Donie Breathnach. Prendergast could have had a goal as the hosts reduced the gap to two points, 0-9 to 0-11, at the interval.
Waterford's hopes of registering a first qualifier win since 2011 were effectively ended, however, when they failed to score for the first 23 minutes of the second half. Half-time sub Emmett McGuckin fired over immediately after the restart before McFaul and Chrissy McKaigue added points. And when Karl McKaigue teed up Heavron for the only goal, it was all over bar the shouting.
Waterford, to their credit, got scores back through Breathnach, Prendergast and Paul Whyte before Derry pulled away again.
Derry - B McKinless; N Keenan (0-1), B Rogers, K McKaigue; C McFaul (0-2), C McWilliams, D Heavron (1-1); C McAtamney, C McKaigue (0-1); R Bell (0-2), N Loughlin (0-2, 1f), M McEvoy; D Tallon (0-3), J Kielt (0-3, 2f), B Heron. Subs: E McGuckin (0-1) for N Loughlin, M Lynch (0-1) for R Bell, S McGuigan for J Kielt, N Forrester for C McFaul, C Nevin for C McAtamney, G O'Neill for B Heron.
Waterford - S Enright; S Dalton, R O Ceallaigh, T O'Gorman; J McGrath, S Prendergast, A Trihy; T Prendergast (0-2), M Curry; C Murray, P Whyte (0-1), G Crotty (0-3); D Breathnach (0-5, 3f), F O Cuirrin (0-2), J Veale. Subs: M O'Halloran for J McGrath (BC), P Hurney for J Veale, D Guiry for C Murray, L O Corraoin for S Dalton, F Galvin for F O Cuirrin, K Murphy for T Prendergast.
Referee - J Henry.