First-half scoring blitz puts Derry in command

Derry 2-19 Wicklow 0-10
Derry scored an unexpectedly easy win over the Garden county at Celtic Park to get their league campaign off to an winning start, all the damage done in the first half when they amassed a comprehensive 18-point advantage.

Wicklow were the first to score, when Jonathan O’Neill registered the first of his seven points, five of which came from placed balls. Derry captain Ruairi Convery scored the first of his five first half points to level and the visitors would add just another point before the break as the home side built a commanding 2-14 to 0-2 half-time advantage,

Niall Ferris cracked home the first goal in the 13th minute for 1-5 to 0-2, with Kevin Hinphey kicking the sliothar to the net ten minutes from half-time to make it 2-9 to 0-2.

Wicklow made three changes at the break and showed more appetite for the battle in the second half, but, although Derry failed to score for 27 minutes, a superb home defence, marshalled powerfully by Paddy Kelly who moved to full-back when Conor Quinn retired injured, saw the Oak Leaf county retain control.

Scorers for Derry: R Convery 0-7 (5fs), N Ferris 1-3, K Hinphey 1-2, B Rodgers, A Grant 0-2 each, P Cleary, C Convery, O McCloskey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wicklow: J O’Neill 0-7, G Weir, C Moorhouse, L Kennedy 0-1 each.

Derry: D McDermott; C McSorley, C Quinn, J McCloskey; R McCloskey, L Hinphey, P Kelly; Convery, K Hinphey; B Rodgers, R Convery (capt), A Grant; P Cleary, O McCloskey, N Ferris.

Subs: P Henry for Quinn (21, inj), T McCloskey for Cleary (57), D McCloskey for McSorley (59), B Quigley for L Hinphey (61).

Wicklow: J Murphy; S Kinsella, B Cuddihy, P Keane; G Bryne, L Kennedy, G Birmingham; J Henderson, B Osbourne; C Moorhouse, S Byrne, R Keddy; M Lee, A O’Brien, J O’Neill.

Subs: J Connors for Henderson (ht), G Byrne for Osbourne (ht), G Weir for O’Brien (ht), P Gahan for Moorhouse (51), E Mason for Kinsella (55).

Referee: Liam McAuley (Antrim).

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