Derry 1-11 Tyrone 0-13
Derry held out for a narrow win in the Division Two Ulster derby against Tyrone.
An early goal from Sean Leo McGoldrick gave the Oak Leafers a cushion they had to rely heavily on in a frantic finish, but they held out to give new boss John Brennan a perfect start to the NFL.
Both sides had goal chances in the opening 90 seconds. First Enda McGinley saw his effort saved by Danny Devlin, then Derry hit the net with a defence-splitting move.
Derry struck gold as early as the second minute, when Sean Leo McGoldrick fired in a goal. The pacey Declan Mullan made the run, and it was Conleith Gilligan whop provided the final pass for McGoldrick to skip around two defenders and plant a low shot past Johnny Curran.
Sean Cavanagh knocked over a couple of Tyrone points and defender Ryan McMenamin popped up to shoot a quality score.
PJ McCloskey and Conleith Gilligan hit the target for the Oak Leafers, but they needed goalkeeper Devlin to come to the rescue again, saving from Aidan Cassidy.
A sweeping move involving McCloskey and Sean Leo McGoldrick ended with Ciaran McGoldrick splitting the posts.
Bradley’s endeavour was finally rewarded with his first point in stoppage time, and he added a second moments later to send his side in with a 1-7 to 0-5 interval lead.
Tyrone started the second half brightly with scores from Brian McGuigan and Martin Penrose, and as they cranked up the intensity, Derry were forced into errors which led to further points from Cassidy and Penrose.
The introduction of Niall McKenna helped the Red Hands gain an edge around midfield, and Tyrone tightened their grip on the contest.
Brian McGuigan had a goal disallowed as creator Cavanagh was penalised for charging, and Derry stemmed the tide, with the help of two splendid points from substitute Emmet McGuckin to restore their three points cushion.
Tyrone pressed with feverish intent in the closing stages, narrowing the gap to a single point with two Penrose frees, but Derry held out, despite the second yellow card dismissal of sub Niall Holly.
Derry: D Devlin, B McCallion, K McCloy, D McBride, C Kielt, B McGoldrick, G O’Kane, PJ McCloskey (0-1), J Conway, D Mullan, SL McGoldrick (1-2), M Lynch, C McGoldrick (0-1), P Bradley (0-3), C Gilligan (0-1, f).
Subs: C O’Boyle (0-1) for Gilligan, N Holly for Mullan, E McGuckin (0-2) for Lynch, M Donaghy for Conway
Tyrone: J Curran, PJ Quinn, C McCarron, D McCaul (0-1), D Carlin, C Gormley, R McMenamin (0-1), K Hughes, A Cassidy (0-1), P Harte, B McGuigan (0-1), S Cavanagh (0-4, 1f), M Penrose (0-4, 3f), S O’Neill, E McGinley (0-1).
Subs: Sean O’Neill for Gormley, N McKenna for Quinn, M Swift for Cassidy
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).