Derry capitalise as Fermanagh let lead slip

Fermanagh 0-10 Derry 1-7

Fermanagh 0-10 Derry 1-7

Derry staged a rousing finish to salvage a draw in their Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup clash with Fermanagh at Brewster Park.

The home side had led for almost the entire game, but had to come from behind to draw level through substitute Ciaran McElroy, after Oak Leaf midfielder Joe Diver had grabbed the only goal of the game in the 68th minute.

Fermanagh started brightly, going three points up inside six minutes, through newcomers Enda Ferris (2) and Seamus Ryder.

Derry's experimental attack failed to fire in the opening period, landing a succession of harmless efforts into the arms of goalkeeper Ronan Gallagher, and after their promising opening, Fermanagh also struggled up front.

They went 16 minutes without scoring, before Ryder landed his second and midfielder Ryan Carson thumped over a long range effort.

Derry finally got their first and only score of the first half when substitute Brian Mullan split the posts with his first touch.

The Oak Leafers had two men sent off in that opening period, Niall Bradley and Patsy Bradley both picking up yellow cards.

Fermanagh led by 0-5 to 0-1 at the break, and maintained a comfortable advantage with scores from Pat Cadden (3) and Ferris.

With seven minutes to play, a more experienced Erne side looked set to cruise to victory over an experimental Oak Leaf outfit, ahead by 0-9 to 0-4.

But new boss Damien Cassidy must have been delighted with the spirit shown by his players in the closing stages.

Points from Seamus Bradley (2) and Paul Bradley narrowed the gap to two, and with just two minutes left, Diver's deflected goal put his side ahead.

But Fermanagh regrouped, and McElroy's late score gave them a point from a tie they should have won comfortably.

Fermanagh: R Gallagher, S Goan, R Foy, M Jones, D Kelly, P Sherry, P Johnston, R Carson (0-1), J Sherry, P Cadden (0-3, 1f), D Kille, R Keenan, P Ward, S Ryder (0-2), E Ferris (0-3, 2f).

Subs: E Maguire for Ward, J Connolly for Cadden, S O'Brien for Kille, T McElroy for Jones (yellow), C McElroy (0-1) for Keenan.

Derry: S McGuckin, D McBride, Patsy Bradley, T Walls, P Carton, C McKaigue, A McAlynn, J Diver (1-0), N Bradley, G McShane, Paul Bradley (0-2, 1f), E Lynn, S Bradley (0-2,1f), K O'Connor, C Mullan.

Subs: M Drum for N Bradley (yellow), B Og McAlary for Walls, B Mullan

(0-2) for O'Connor, M McBride for Patsy Bradley (yellow), E Brown

(0-1) for Mullan, P Young for McShane.

Referee: B Crowe (Cavan).

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