GAA Football

Derry avoid banana skin fixture in Waterford

Enda Lynn incurred the wrath of Derry manager Damian Brton by playing in a club game in the build-up to Saturday's All-Ireland SFC Qualifier against Waterford
From Tomás McCarthy at Fraher Field

All Ireland SFC Qualifying Round 1A

Derry 1-17 Waterford 0-13

DERRY avoided any slip-ups and put their name in the hat for the second round of the All Ireland SFC qualifiers on a baking hot Saturday afternoon at Fraher Field.

The Oak Leafers led a spirited Waterford from start to finish as they learned from Cork’s close shave at the Dungarvan venue last month.

“It was a banana skin,” admitted winning manager Damien Barton.

“Cork played into Waterford’s hands because they put no pace in the game. That was one of our objectives. We pushed up on the kick-outs and it worked very well.

“We were four nil up. They came back into the game and the one thing that worried me was their pace from deep. I wasn’t happy with how we defended further up the pitch and we missed some easy chances so there’s things to work on. After the Tyrone game, it was very important to get moving.”

After an uneasy second quarter, where the hosts sliced open the Derry rearguard, Barton’s men reached the dressing rooms two points up. They re-emerged in determined fashion and posted 1-5 without response. Danny Heavron belted in the decisive goal on 50 minutes. The comfortable victors could afford to shoot 17 wides after encountering difficulties with their free-taking.

Captain Enda Lynn missed out with a hamstring injury and Barton was irritated with his decision to play in a league game for Greenlough earlier in the week.

“Enda didn’t start because he participated in a league game stupidly on Monday night. Enda is crazy whenever it comes to football and whenever it comes to training.

“He came into a game against Slaughtneil and it was 3-2 at half time so Enda thought he could do something. He reaggravated a hamstring injury which was stupid on his part. He wasn’t supposed to play. The physio tells you one thing and he does the opposite. It was stupid on his part and it’s not acceptable what he did either because at the end of the day a lot of people have made a commitment to this. He’s our best player in terms of carrying a ball past the tackle and pace through the middle third.”

James Kielt and Michael McEvoy were late additions instead of Lynn and Emmett McGuckin. The team in red hared four points clear after eight minutes. A Niall Loughlin brace was followed by Danny Tallon and Ciaran McFaul singles.

Waterford changed to a navy and blue kit and Gavin Crotty raised the first of his three white flags in the 10th minute. Ryan Bell and Tallon maintained that four-point gap before Stephen Enright blocked Heavron’s goal-bound drive with his feet. In the subsequent scramble for possession, referee Jerome Henry dismissed James McGrath on a black card. Kielt converted the free (0-7 to 0-3).

An energetic home outfit persisted. Points from Crotty, Ferghal Ó Cuirrín and Breathnach (free) left them only one adrift. Niall Keenan, Bell and Kielt (free) pushed it out to three approaching half-time. Free-taker Breathnach had the last word of the opening half (0-11 to 0-9).

Emmett McGuckin replaced Loughlin at the break as the Greenlough attacker departed with a dead leg. The substitute added his name to the scoresheet within 27 seconds.

The leaders kicked three wides, while Breathnach and Michael Curry were off target for the Déise. McFaul then advanced to register his second point. Waterford squandered two further chances before Chrissy McKaigue obliged from distance.

On 50 minutes, Heavron combined with Karl McKaigue before planting a right-footed shot past Enright (1-14 to 0-9). Mark Lynch and Tallon created a 10-point margin before Breathnach got Waterford moving again after 25 scoreless minutes. Tommy Prendergast and Paul Whyte tagged on further late points for the hosts.

Déise boss Tom McGlinchey pinpointed Heavron’s three-pointer as the game-changer. “We were only two points down at half-time but we had chances at the end to go in level. Derry got the start to the second half that we wanted.”

Derry: B McKinless; N Keenan (0-1), B Rogers, K McKaigue; M McEvoy, C McWilliams, C McFaul (0-2); C McAtamney, C McKaigue (0-1); J Kielt (0-3, 0-2f), B Heron, D Tallon (0-3); R Bell (0-2), D Heavron (1-1), N Loughlin (0-2f, 0-1f)

Subs: E McGuckin (0-1) for Loughlin (H-T), M Lynch (0-1) for Bell (45), S McGuigan for Kielt (48), N Forrester for McFaul (55), C Nevin for McAtamney (60), G O’Neill for Heron (63).

Waterford: S Enright; A Trihy, T O’Gorman, S Dalton; C Murray, R O Ceallaigh, J McGrath; T Prendergast (0-2), M Curry; J Veale, P Whyte (0-1), S Prendergast; D Breathnach (0-5, 0-3f), F Ó Cuirrín (0-2), G Crotty (0-3)

Subs: M O’Halloran for McGrath (17, BC), P Hurney for Veale (47), D Guiry for Murray (50), L Ó Corraoin for Dalton (54), F Galvin for Ó Cuirrín (61), K Murphy for Prendergast (71).

Referee: J Henry (Mayo)

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