Derry 1-11 Antrim 0-9
Derry laboured to get the better of a blunt-edged Antrim side in a dour Ulster Football Championship tie at Celtic Park.
And manager Eamon Coleman admitted that his side must show vast improvement if it is to make an impact against Tyrone in the semi-final.
"It was a poor game," said Coleman. "But we won, and that's what we had to do.
"That's the way it goes, and we just have to prepare for the Tyrone game now."
Lively Antrim made all the early running, with Joe Quinn a dominant figure in
midfield and Paddy Logan making some powerful surges.
Logan converted two frees and Kevin Brady struck an acute angle score to ease
them into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
But Derry, following a ponderous start, slowly grew into the game, and should
have had a goal when Paddy Bradley sent Anthony Tohill through, but the
midfielder blazed over the bar from 10 yards.
Bradley knocked two frees between the posts, and home fans began to find
And in the third minute of injury time came the big breakthrough.
Defender Paul McFlynn cut through the Antrim defence on a searing run, found Bradley with the perfect pass, and the lively corner forward gave Sean McGreevy no chance with a superb finish.
Enda Muldoon added a point, and the Oak Leaf men finally moved into the
comfort zone, going in at the break with a 1-5 to 0-3 advantage.
But when they had substitute defender Paul Carton sent off for a second
yellow card four minutes into the second half, Derry handed the initiative
back to their opponents.
Paddy Logan thumped over two more frees, but inside two minutes, Antrim were
also reduced to 14 men when attacker Paul Close was red-carded, having
already been booked along with Carton.
Derry were quickly back in control, two superb Enda Muldoon points lifting
their spirits to new heights.
Gavin Diamond and Paddy Bradley tagged on two superb points, but just wehen
they were poised to go on and win convinvingly, Dery allowed Antrim back into
Logan steered over four frees in the final quarter to reduce the deficit to
four, but it was never going to be enough, given that his side now possessed
little attacking edge, and a point from defender Gary Coleman sealed a
comfortable if uninspiring win for Derry.