Winning start for Derry boss Damian Barton

McKenna Cup: Damian Barton’s stint as Derry manager got off to a winning start thanks to a four-goal victory over Antrim yesterday.

The Oak Leafers hit two goals in each half to beat the Saffrons by 4-16 to 2-12 in Owenbeg.

Barton has signalled a desire to play a more expansive style of football and while not too much can be read into a McKenna Cup opener, it was an encouraging start to bag four goals.

Another Derry player, Cailean O’Boyle, was also on target for UUJ as the students beat an understrength Monaghan team by 2-16 to 1-9 in Clones.

Rookie Shane Heavron starred for Derry, scoring two goals on his debut with Liam McGoldrick and Emmett McGuckin also finding the net.

Antrim star Tomas McCann, who has returned to the saffron ranks after opting out last year, scored a goal in each half.

Derry led by 2-8 to 1-7 at half time, with McGoldrick and Heavron on target.

Then Heavron scored again 10 seconds after the restart, collecting a long ball in from the impressive James Kielt, who made his inter-county comeback after not being involved last year.

McGuckin added a late penalty for the Oak Leafers.

UUJ beat under-strength Ulster champions Monaghan by 2-16 to 1-9 at Clones.

Late goals by Derry forward Cailean O’Boyle and Mayo star Evan Regan clinched a good win for the students.

Monaghan rookie Barry McGinn scored two early points to help the home side lead by 0-3 to 0-2 but O’Boyle, Conan Grugan and Ryan McHugh were among the scorers as Jordanstown led by 0-8 to 0-4 at half time.

A McGinn goal cut the deficit to a point, but UUJ finished strongly with a brace of goals to sink Malachy O’Rourke’s side which was shorn of a string of first-team regulars.


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