Substitute Ben McCarron’s hat-trick of goals proved the difference as Derry claimed a first win in this season’s McKenna Cup with a 3-9 to 2-8 win over Fermanagh.
The defeat see’s Fermanagh propects of progressing to the semi-final stage come to an end as early points from Emmett Bradley, Enda Lynn and Bradley gave Derry an early lead.
Fermanagh finally got off the mark in the 21st minute thanks to a Kevin McDonnell score but McCarron was to hit the net immediately in response.
Padraig McGrogan and Christopher Bradley sent the ball over the bar to give Derry a seven point lead, 1-5 to omne point.
Two Darragh McGurn points brought Rory Gallagher’s side back into the game, but Christopher Bradley would score from a free sending Derry six points clear
Ryan Lyons hit a Fermanagh goal after a clever pass from Conor McGee, though Christopher Bradley and Darragh McGurn pointed to leave Derry still leading 1-4 to 1-7.
Kevin McDonnell scored for Fermanagh once again, but a second McCarron goal and a Derry point from Emmett Bradley left it 1-5 to 2-8 as Derry Captain Enda Lynn was sent off for two yellow card offences.
Fermanagh’s Darragh McGurn hit a penalty goal but once again Derry’s McCarron would go up the other side of the field and completed his hat-trick in the 55th minute to make it 2-5 to 3-8.
Ben McCarron and Kane Connor exchanged scores before Fermanagh substitute Garvan Jones impressed on his introduction with two late scores.
James McGrath, Ryan Lyons (Jonathan Cassidy), Tiarnan Daly (Garvan Jones), Cian McManus, Kane Connor, Lee Cullen, Ultan Kelm, Eoin Donnelly, Ryan Jones, Aidan Breen (Daniel Teague), Kevin McDonnell, Ciaran Corrigan, Daniel Teague (Conor McGee 21), Tomas Clarke, Darragh McGurn
Scorers: Ryan Lyons 1-0, Kane Connor 0-1, Darragh McGurn 1-3, Kevin McDonnell 0-2, Garvan Jones 0-2,
Derry: Odhran Lynch, Padraig McGrogan, Conor Mulholland, Sean Quinn, Ryan Dougan (Sean McKeever 68), Eamon McGill, Jason Rocks (Ciaran McFaul 45), Conor McAtamney (Declan Hughes 40), Padraig Cassidy, Patrick Coney, Christopher Bradley, Eoghan Concannon, Ryan Bell (Ben McCarron 4 (Simon McErlain 65)), Emmett Bradley, Enda Lynn
Scorers: Padraig McGrogan 0-1, Christopher Bradley 0-3, Emmett Bradley 0-3, Enda Lynn 0-1, Ben McCarron 3-1
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)