Watch: McGuigan's late free earns Derry opening win in Tralee

January 27, 2024

Derry's Shane McGuigan kicks the winning free against Kerry ©INPHO/James Crombie

Shane McGuigan’s free in the fourth minute of injury-time proved the difference as Derry overcame Kerry with a 0-15 to 2-8 victory at Austin Stack Park this evening.

The result saw Mickey Harte’s men picking up their fifth win on the bounce in 2024, having lifted the Dr McKenna Cup last week, and make the ideal start to their Division 1 trail in the Allianz Football League.

With their Glen contingent returned to them, the Ulster champions were hands down the better team during the opening 35 minutes, as they ran up a 0-8 to 0-4 lead with three McGuigan frees surging them clear in a five-minute spell in the second quarter.

The home side, who were without David and Paudie Clifford for this one, still trailed by four with 55 minutes on the clock but got right back into it when Conor Geaney hammered to Derry’s net three minutes later.

Harte’s charges responded via points from Declan Cassidy and Niall Toner, but they were erased by Dylan Casey’s goal with seven minutes to go. Points from Ciaran McFaul and Graham O’Sullivan (free) kept it level heading towards the added minutes when this pressure free from McGuigan (watch it below) sailed over the Munster champions’ crossbar.

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