Derry forced to work for win as Louth dig in
Louth 1-12 Derry 2-17
Derry came into this game as red-hot favourites, but were made to fight all the way by a determined Louth side who gave Collie McGurk's side a real fright before fading late on.
Derry flew out of the traps early on and were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after five minutes, thanks in the main to a trio of Ruairi Convery frees.
Last year's Lory Meagher cup winners Louth gradually began to find their way back into the game and were level after 10 minutes thanks to three points in quick succession.
The Oak Leaf county finished the half strongly however and went in at the break 1-10 to 0-5 ahead with Slaughneil's Meehal McGrath scoring the goal for the visitors.
Louth started the second half well with a couple of Paddy Lynch frees and a long-range David Kettle effort reducing Derry's lead to seven points.
However, reliable Ruairi Convery was in flawless form for the visitors and his eighth free of the game put his side eight points clear with just 20 minutes remaining.
Louth looked dead and buried at that stage, but out of nowhere they found a way back into the game as David Kettle scrambled the ball over the line after Liam Dwan's fierce shot was saved by Daryl McDermott in the Derry goal.
That goal was the catalyst for Louth's best period of the match as they rattled over three points in quick succession to suddenly make it a three-point game with 10 minutes remaining.
Derry responded by bringing in Gerard Bradley and Paddy Henry and those changes managed to stem the tide as Derry wrestled back control of the game.
A late goal from Alan Grant sealed a big victory for the Division 2B side but they know they will need to improve if they are to realise their ambition of going all the way in this competition.
DERRY: Convery 0-11 (10fs); McGrath 1-0; Grant 1-0; Hinphey 0-2; Cleary, Óg Hinphey, Steele and Cartin 0-1 each.
LOUTH: Lynch 0-4(4fs); Murphy 0-3(1f); D Kettle 1-1; Dwan 0-2; Smyth 0-1; Ryan 0-1
DERRY: McDermott, McCullagh, Cassidy, D McCloskey, Cleary, ÓgHinphey, Hinphey, B ÓgMcGilligan, McAllister, Convery, McGrath, Grant, McCloskey, Steele, Kelly. Subs: Bradley for ÓgMcGilligan (HT), Cartin for Kelly (47), McGuigan for Steele (60), Henry N/A for McCloskey (63).
LOUTH: Nolan, Kettle, Lyons, Chaloner, McCormack, Maher, McCrave, Ryan, Conneely, Smyth, Murphy, Lynch, Dwan, Kettle, Ryan. Subs:Mahony for Smyth (60), Stephenson for Lynch (63), Mathews N/A for D Kettle (70)
Referee: Tony Carroll (Offaly).