Derry beat London to notch first championship win in three years

The Oak Leaf side started their All-Ireland junior campaign in fine style

Steelstown's Orla McGeough (left) will face Northern Ireland netball team-mate Ana Mulholland when her club take on Glenavy in this weekend's Ulster Club Intermediate Ladies' Football final      Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
Orla McGeough (left) scored Derry's goal in the win over London Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies’ JFC Group A, round one Derry 1-15 London 1-6

DERRY recorded a first championship win since 2021 with a deserved nine-point victory over London in Ballymaguigan yesterday.

They trailed by two at half-time, 1-5 to 0-6, as they rued a number of missed opportunities, but they came out for the second half and blew their opposition away 1-9 to 0-1, the visitors’ point coming near the end.

The sides traded the first four scores and were 0-2 apiece before Derry added another two to move ahead by double scores, Cara Donnelly and Orla McGeough on target.

London struck for the game’s opening goal in the 15th minute through Aoife McLaughlin and Aoife O’Neill (free) stretched their lead to 1-3 to 0-4. O’Neill converted a further two frees before the break, while Donnelly had one for Derry as London held the advantage.

But Derry took control right from the start of the second half. O’Kane pointed and then from the resulting kick-out, Derry had the ball in the back of the London net, McGeough pouncing on the loose kick-out and lobbing the ball over the retreating London goalkeeper, Sally Farrell.

An Emma Doherty brace then saw Derry move four clear, 1-9 to 1-5 and the points continued to flow. Annie Kilpatrick, Anna Martin, Dara McKeever, McGeough and sub Leah McGonagle were all on target before London got their only point of the half. The final say went to Erin Doherty, who struck over a point on her home pitch.