Eight players scored from play in this comfortable win over Cavan, with Ryan Bell notching 1-5. His 21st minute penalty was a decisive score, with the Oak Leafers kicking 1-4 in a six minute spell to seize control.
Cavan had the wind in the first half but that scoring blitz left them chasing the game and they trailed 1-10 to 0-6 at the break. Killian Clarke’s tidy finish from a well-worked move in the 53rd minute was the high point in their much-improved second half, while Eugene Keating and Seanie Johnston kicked their first scores since their return to Breffni colours.
All but three of Derry’s total of 17 points came from play and Barton knows which end of the field they need to work on.
“Statistically Derry have been very good defensively in the last few years, but the problem is you can’t win games unless you score and we have to address that.
“It took us a while to get going but the penalty and point straight after it were equally as important. We mixed our game up well so there are many positives.” The sides were level four times in a tight first quarter, with Gearoid McKiernan’s left-footed point from near the touchline putting Cavan ahead 0-4 to 0-3 after 15 minutes. From there, Derry completely took over and outscored Terry Hyland’s side by 1-7 to 0-2 in the 20 minutes before half time, Bell kicking 1-4 in the opening half. “Our ball handling and decision-making in the first half was very poor,” said the Cavan manager.
“We left ourselves too much to do but were a lot happier with our second half and we’ve given runouts to about 36, 37 players.” Conor Moynagh, Ciaran Brady and Gearoid McKiernan battled hard for Cavan, but Derry had too much for them with James Kielt, Cailean O’Boyle and Enda Lynn the productive support cast to the brilliant Bell.
J Brady 0-3 (3f), K Clarke 1-0, C Moynagh, G McKiernan 0-2 each; C Brady 0-1, S Johnston each, E Keating 0-1 (f).
R Bell 1-5, C O’Boyle, J Kielt 0-2 (1f) each, E Bradley, E Lynn 0-2 each, D Heavron, C Kearns, M Craig 0-1 each, S Heavron 0-1 (f).
R Galligan; J Hayes, K Clarke, P Faulkner; C Brady, C Moynagh, F Flanagan; G McKiernan, B Sankey; B Doyle, N Murray, E Henry; J Brady, D Givney, P O’Connor
Subs: M Argue for Doyle (32), K Brady for J Hayes (HT), N McDermott for Henry (HT), E Keating for O’Connor (HT), S Johnston for J Brady (54)
T Mallon; C Mullan, D McBride, R Ferris; G McKinless, C McKaigue, D Heavron; B Rogers, E Bradley; B Heron, J Kielt, E Lynn; C Kearns, R Bell, C O’Boyle
Subs: K McKaigue for Ferris (28), S Heavron for Kearns (47), M Craig for McKinless (51), C Murphy for O’Boyle (54), O Duffy for Heron (62), C Bradley for Kielt (66)
Niall McKenna (Monaghan)