Derry's ambitions take a hit with Galway loss
Derry 2-12 - Galway 1-18
A highly impressive Galway were much too slick for an under par Derry in a real promotion 'four pointer' at Celtic Park.
The Tribesmen ran out three point winners but the final scoreboard, with Derry hitting two late consolation goals, certainly flattered the home side.
Having trailed by a point early, Galway hit six in a row with six different players all raising the white flag. Only a much-needed late rally where the home side hit three of the last scores including Ryan Bell's third from play, this time with the outside of the right, saved Oak Leaf blushes.
If Derry were poor in the first half they were worse in the second. Adrian Varley's 38th minute goal handed Kevin Walsh's side a 1-11 to 0-07 lead. The Tribesmen hit four of the next five scores to all but wrap the game up.
The Tribesmen attacked Derry from all sectors, with rampaging half-back Johnny Heaney scoring four superb points from play. Eamon Brannigan and Eddie Hoare scored three points for Galway, with Enda Tierney weighing in with a brace. Paul Conroy knocked over two from play himself.
Derry managed two late goals through Emmett McGuckin and Niall Loughlin but by that stage the game was a dead rubber.
The defeat leaves Derry travelling to Healy Park on Saturday night where anything but a win could see his side miss out on a return to Division One football.
DERRY: T Mallon, R Ferris, C McKaigue, K McKaigue, M Craig, G McKinless, D Heavron, E Bradley (0-1), B Rogers (0-1), B Heron, J Kielt (0-3, 0-2f), C McFaul, R Bell (0-6), M Lynch (0-1), D McKinless. Subs: N Loughlin (1-0) for D McKinless (30), N Holly for R Ferris (HT), SL McGoldrick for B Heron (41), S Heavron (1-0) for C McFaul BC (44), E McGuckin for D Heavron (50), C McAtamney for E Bradley (57)
GALWAY: M Breathnach, D Wynne, D Kyne, E Kerin, L Silke (0-1), G O'Donnell, J Heaney (0-4), S Walsh (0-1f), P Conroy, T Flynn, E Hoare, E Tierney (0-2), E Brannigan (0-3), A Varley (1-1), D Comer (0-1). Subs: F Hanley for D Wynne (10), C Sweeney for J Heaney (61), P Mannion for E Brannigan (63), S Denvir for A Varley (70)
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)