Derry took full advantage of a poor Monaghan performance to beat them by six points in Division Two of the National Football League under the lights in Celtic Park last night.
Derry’s displays in the league so far had left a lot to be desired but the two points gained from last night’s game will be welcome step away from relegation for John Brennan’s men.
Derry looked determined to banish the memories of the poor league performances against Galway and Tyrone and stormed into a four point lead at the start of the first half.
Oak Leaf talisman Paddy Bradley got the first score of the night when he linked up well with Mark Lynch to send a powerful drive between the posts after just 29 seconds. The game was in the ninth minute before the second score arrived, another point from a free by Mark Lynch.
Newbridge player Michael Bateson impressed with his passing in the first half and managed to get himself on the scoresheet with a fantastic score from the right in the 11th minute.
Monaghan were getting plenty of possession in this early part of the first half but failed to translate it into scores. Derry were by far the more clinical of the two teams and Paddy Bradley got his second and Derry’s fourth point of the night when he linked up with Sean Leo McGoldrick to fire over from 30 metres out on the right in the 15th minute.
Derry’s onslaught of Eamon McEneaney’s men continued in the 18th minute when corner-forward Enda Lynn scored from a fine Michael Bateson pass.
The game was twenty minutes old when Monaghan got their first score, a free from forward Paul Finlay. But it was a brief reprieve. Paddy Bradley fired three scores (two frees) over the bar without reply inside the next ten minutes. Monaghan captain Darren Hughes got his side’s first score from open play just after the half hour when he burst forward to score with the outside of the boot from 20 metres out. That left it 0-8 to 0-2 to Derry.
Monaghan’s night went from bad to worse when Matthew McKenna was sent off after he fouled Barry McGoldrick in the 33rd minute. McKenna had received a yellow card earlier in the first half and referee Eddie Kinsella did not hesitate when sending the player off.
Eoin Duffy offered some respite for the visitors when he reduced Derry’s lead to five points with a free in first half injury time but Barry McGoldrick ensured that Derry led by six points at half-time when he scored a magnificent point from 45 metres out.
Derry came out in no mood to left Monaghan back into it and produced a brilliant move which culminated in Michael Bateson knocking the ball over.
Monaghan substitute Tommy Freeman scored with his first touch of the game in the 39th minute, and then Kieran Hughes reduced Derry’s lead to five.
Paddy Bradley knocked back the mini-revival when he converted a free close to the touchline in the 44th minute.
Paul Finlay got his second score for Monaghan four minutes later, but Derry again responded with points Sean Leo McGoldrick and Mark Craig.
Derry were reduced to 14 men when Steelstown’s Neil Forrester received his second yellow card of the game in the 58th minute.
But it all came to late to be of much benefit to Monaghan. In the 62nd minute Dermot Malone scored from 20 yards out after a fine pass from Dick Clerkin, and then Kieran Hughes reduced Derry’s lead to five points. But Mark Lynch finished the scoring off when he took advantage of misplaced Monaghan pass to point with ease in the 65th minute.
DERRY: B. Gillis: B. McCallion, C.McKaigue, A. McAlynn; M. Craig (0-1), M.Bateson (0-2), G. O’Kane; M. Friel, P.J. McCloskey; N. Forrester, S.L.McGoldrick (0-1); B. McGoldrick (0-1); M. Lynch (0-2, 1f), P. Bradley (0-6, 3f), E. Lynn (0-1). Substitutions: C. Kielt for M. Bateson 48 mins; C. Gilligan for E. Lynn 63 mins; E. McGuckian for M. Lynch 68 mins; Patsy Bradley for Paddy Bradley (69 mins).
MONAGHAN: M. Keogh; V. Corey, D. Hughes (0-2), C. Walsh; D. Malone (0-1), D. Mone, D. Hughes; E. Lennon, D. Clerkin; M. McKenna, D. Morgan, J. Turley; P. Finlay (0-2, 2f), K. Hughes (0-2), E. Duffy.Substitutions: T. Freeman (0-1) for D. Hughes (ht); C. McGuinness for E. Duffy 48 mins; K. Duffy for C. Walsh 49 mins.
REFEREE: Eddie Kinsella (Laois).