NFL 1: Derry off to a flier

February 07, 2010

Tyrone's Conor Gormley blocks the path of goalscorer Raymond Wilkinson of Derry during the NFL Division 1 tie at Celtic Park
Derry 1-18
Tyrone 1-12

Derry gained a measure of revenge for last summer's Ulster SFC semi-final collapse at the hands of Tyrone when they got their NFL Division 1 campaign off to a winning start at Celtic Park last night.

Half a dozen points from the in-form James Kielt and a second half goal from Raymond Wilkinson paved the way for the Oak Leafers' six-point win over their arch-rivals before a 6,000-strong crowd and thousands more watching on TV. Derry were the sharper team throughout and with Kielt and Eoin Bradley in free-scoring form, they always held the edge.

Damian Cassidy's charges were quickly into their stride and scores from Andrew McCartney and Kielt helped them to an early three-point advantage. The margin was still the same at half-time, 0-9 to 0-6, and the home side seemed to have taken a firm grip on proceedings when they reeled off the first three points of the second half.

But Tyrone responded with a couple of Tommy McGuigan scores before Derry substitute Brian Mullan sent a long ball into the danger area and when it broke, Wilkinson was hand to scramble to the net in the 57th minute.

Typically, Mickey Harte's side responded immediately when impressive substitute Eoin McCusker's rasping shot was turned into the net by Colm Cavanagh from no more than three yards out. Tyrone brought the margin down to four points when Martin Penrose and McCusker followed up with points, but short many of their most experienced men, they were unable to get any closer and Derry pulled clear again in the closing stages.

Scorers - Derry: J Kielt 0-6 (0-6f); R Wilkinson 1-2; E Bradley 0-4 (0-2f, 1 '45); M Lynch 0-2; C Kielt, G O'Kane, D Mullan, A McCartney 0-1 each. Tyrone: T McGugan 0-5 (0-3f); M Penrose 0-4 (0-3f); C Cavanagh 1-0; K Coney, A Cassidy, E McCusker 0-1 each.

Derry: B Gillis; B Og McAlary, G O'Kane, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch, L Hinphey; F Doherty, P Bradley; C O'Boyle, J Kielt, A McCartney; S Bradley, E Bradley, R Wilkinson. Subs: D Mullan for O'Boyle (32), B Mullan for S Bradley (48), J Diver for P Bradley (53), E Lynn for McCartney (67), B McGuigan for Wilkinson (68).

Tyrone: J Curran; M Swift, Justin McMahon, Joe McMahon; D Carlin, C Gormley, R McNabb; A Cassidy, K Hughes; K Coney, B McGuigan, E McGinley; C Cavanagh, M Penrose T McGuigan. Subs: E McCusker for Coney (47), S O'Neill for McNabb (47), R McMenamin for Justin McMahon (47), D Harte for Swift (64).

Referee: P McEnaney (Monaghan).

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