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Dr McKenna Cup: Gilligan’s high five lifts Derry

Derry 1-12 Cavan 1-10: Derry notched all of their 13 scores from play as they opened their Barrett Sports Lighting Dr. McKenna Cup campaign with a victory at a Siberian-like Kingspan/Breffni Park.

The Oak Leafers' performance was a bit like the curate's egg though as a brilliant first-half was tempered by a laboured second period.

Everything the visitors touched in the first-half turned to gold with classy attacker Conleth Gilligan a real gem in particular.

The Ballinderry livewire amassed a superb five first-half points which helped propel John Brennan's charges into a commanding 0-11 to 0-3 lead at the interval.

Cavan had opened the scoring with a sixth minute converted free from Paddy Gumley, but their fortunes nosedived from there to the break. After the game Derry boss Brennan suggested his side should have had the match sewn up by half-time.

“Cavan played the game, in terms of using the elements, in the way I would have liked and we have to learn to play the game for 70 minutes instead of just 25,” he said.

“Some of our passing was suicidal in the second-half and their interceptions led to about 90 per cent of their scores.”

Cavan were certainly a much improved side on the restart, notching five unanswered points, including a brace from substitute Gerard Pierson.

However Paddy Bradley's fisted goal in the 59th minute stopped the rot for Derry and eased them into a 1-11 to 0-8 lead.

Cavan battled to the last, but a Michael Brennan goal on the hour and a Barry Reilly point weren't enough to derail Derry.

Cavan: J Reilly, P Carroll (0-1), E Smith, D O'Reilly, D O'Dowd, A Clarke, S Jordan, C Gilligan, P O'Reilly, K Fannin (0-1), A Reilly, R Flanagan, P Gumley (0-1, free), S Johnston (0-1), M Brennan (1-1). Subs: D Ward for J Reilly (9 mins, inj), T Corr (0-1) for C Gilligan (27 mins), G Pierson (0-3, one free) for S Johnston (inj, half-time), J McEnroe for A Reilly (53 mins),B Reilly (0-1) for D O'Reilly (62 mins).

Derry; D O Doibhilin, C Mullan, K McCloy, D McBride, M Drumm (0-1), B McGoldrick (0-1), Gearoid O Cathain, PJ McCloskey, J Conway, D Mullan (0-1), C McGoldrick, M Lynch (0-1), N McNicholl, P Bradley (1-3), C Gilligan (0-5). Subs: B McGuigan for N McNicholl (half-time), N Holly for J Conway (46 mins),R Shivers for C McGoldrick (53 mins), D Brennan for M Drumm (61mins).

Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Donegal).

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