Derry 1-11 Wicklow 1-10: Ahead by five points 20 minutes into the second half, 1-9 to 0-7, and playing with a one man numerical advantage from the 22nd minute, Derry struggled to hold off a determined Wicklow at Owenbeg on Saturday.
Oisin McCloskey blasted the ball to the net in the 10th minute and Wicklow were then reduced to 14 players 12 minutes later when wing back Gary Byrne picked up a second yellow card for 'diving' after a challenge for possession with Kevin Hinphey.
With Shane Farren on target from frees, 0-3 in the opening half, Derry took a 1-4 to 0-4 advantage to the break, Enan Glynn, Jonathan O'Neill and Mickey Lee scoring for the Garden County.
In the second half Derry looked to be coasting to victory, even though not at their best, with Alan Grant leading the scoring with three points from open play.
Twenty minutes into the half they were five points clear, even though they struggled to use the extra player to full advantage.
In the 57th minute Wicklow were given a huge boost when substitute Andy O'Brien was fouled in the goalmouth and the referee awarded a penalty.
Derry keeper Daryl McDermott looked to have saved Andy O'Brien's penalty but the ball squirmed under his body to the net to cut the deficit to two points.
Wicklow did cut the deficit to the minimum with late points but Derry held on for an uneasy win.
Derry scorers: Shane Farren 0-5 frees, Alan Grant 0-4, Oisin McCloskey 1-1 and Paul Cleary 0-1.
Wicklow scorers: Andy O'Brien 1-03, 1-00 pen, 0-02 frees, Jonathan O'Neill 0-03, 0-01 free, Enan Glynn 0-02, Mickey Lee and John Henderson 0-01 each.