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Derry drop down as Dublin prove too strong

Dublin 0-08 - Derry 0-04

By Steven Doherty

Derry's tenure in Division One came to an end at Croke Park after a four point defeat in a low-scoring clash with Dublin.

Few gave Brian McIver's side any real chance, but the Oak Leafers impressed from the start and led 0-3 to 0-2 at half-time. They should have been further ahead but for a number of spurned chances, with Dublin's second point through Diarmuid Connolly not coming until a minute into first half injury-time.

Cormac Costello's introduction improved the Dublin attack but Derry were still level midway through the second half. However, two Dean Rock points helped Dublin pull clear late in the game and confirm Derry's relegation to Division Two.

The match itself certainly wasn't one for the purists, with both sides adopting the very same defensive strategy that has been increasingly plaguing the game in recent years.

"It was a game of chess," admitted Derry manager Brian McIver. "If both teams set up in exactly the same way that's roughly what's going to happen."

From the first throw-in bottom club Derry tore up the script and took the game to Dublin, with McGoldrick and Enda Lynn continuously driving forward into a mass of sky blue jerseys.

However, Derry lacked any cutting edge up front and it was Dublin who finally broke the deadlock when Michael Darragh Macauley opened the scoring in the 12th minute. But Derry went in 0-3 to 0-2 at the break.

With defences on top, Dublin improved after the break, easing to victory in the end.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Philip McMahon, Rory O'Carroll, Eoin Culligan; Jonny Cooper, John Small, Jack McCaffrey; Michael Darragh Macauley (0-1), Tomas Brady; Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly (0-2), Ciaran Kilkenny; Kevin McManamon, Dean Rock (0-3, 0-2f), Bernard Brogan. Subs: Cormac Costello (0-1) for McManamon (HT), James McCarthy for Brady (42), David Byrne for Culligan (42), Paddy Andrews (0-1) for Kilkenny (51), Brian Fenton for Macauley (54), Davy Byrne for Brogan (70).

Derry: Thomas Mallon; Oisin Duffy, Niall Holly, Kevin Johnston; Liam McGoldrick, Conor McAtamney, Michael McIver; Mark Lynch (0-1), Emmet Bradley; Sean Leo McGoldrick, Daniel Heavron, Enda Lynn (0-1); Benny Heron (0-1 45), Emmet McGuckin, James Kielt (0-1f). Subs: Fergal Doherty for Bradley (46), Terence O'Brien for McGuckin (46), Ciaran McFaul for Kielt (46), Daniel McKinless for McIver (51), Neil McNicholl for L McGoldrick (67).

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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