Hurling & Camogie

Wasteful Derry let lead slip as Wicklow claim unlikely draw

The Oak Leaf men remain top despite dropping points against the division’s bottom side

Derry's Cormac O'Doherty (right) has been selected on the 2023 GAA Champion 15.
Shining light: Derry's Cormac O'Doherty (right) was selected on the 2023 GAA Champion 15.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B, round four

Wicklow 0-18 Derry 0-18

WICKLOW rescued an unlikely point against Derry as the table-proppers drew for the second round running.

Derry went into the game with a 100 per cent record after wins against London, Donegal and Tyrone had outlined their intentions of promotion and league success from early in the year, and manager Johnny McGarvey will be frustrated at how they let this one slip coming down the stretch.

Having conceded the match’s first two scores to Brandon Ryan and Seanie Germaine respectively, the Oak Leafers quickly recovered to hold a 0-10 to 0-9 lead at the break, in spite of Germaine’s best efforts.

Indeed, Derry’s deficit lasted just seven first-half minutes and was the only stage they trailed in the entire match, but their tally of 22 wides came back to haunt them.

Midfielder Cormac O’Doherty and sharp-shooter Christy McNaughton will be particularly deflated after strong individual showings, with the latter notching 0-6.

Derry manager Johnny McGarvey
Dent to the ambitions: Derry manager Johnny McGarvey will be disappointed with today's result.

Wicklow hit the game’s last four scores and in the end, Derry got out of jail, with the home side beckoning for a last gasp free-in that never came, as referee Nicky O’Toole decided there was nothing doing.

Derry remain top, two points clear of Donegal, with a home tie against Roscommon to come next Sunday.

Having suffered a defeat in Ballycran last year that confirmed their relegation, they will be keen to get back to winning ways to establish momentum.

Winless Wicklow, for their part, will be fighting for their lives in Dungannon against a Tyrone side that sit just a point above them in the table.