Dynamite Derry lay down early marker
Monaghan 2-11 Derry 2-15: Derry followed up December's Ó Fiaich Cup success with a victory in the opening round of the Dr McKenna Cup over Monaghan at Clones.
It was the Ulster champions who started the brightest on an admirable St. Tiernach's Park.
Fielding largely an experimental side, Malachy O'Rourke sat back and watched Daniel McKenna take centre stage early on as the lively corner forward caused the Derry backline all sorts of problems. McKenna dispatched the first free before Jack McCarron flicked up a breaking ball and fired over.
Although Charlie Kielt responded, wing back Paudie McKenna hit two beauties for the hosts. Declan Mullan did raise a white flag though before Enda Lynn burst through after a surging run.
Within moments, Mark Lynch had rattled the post and James Kielt palmed home.
Monaghan responded just before the break when Ryan Wylie poked home.
There was panic for Derry though when Chris McGuinness added to Finlay's opening second half score.
Sean Leo McGoldrick, James Kielt and Enda Lynn drew the away side level before Declan Mullan and Ciaran McFaul joined in on the act, sandwiching James Kielt and Mark Lynch scores.
Jack McCarron did huff for Monaghan with a couple of frees but the writing was on the wall.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy, Ryan Wylie (1-0); Fintan Kelly, Dessie Mone, Paudie McKenna (0-2); Gavin Doogan (0-1), Kieran Hughes, Dermot Malone, Jack McCarron (0-3f), Shane Carey, Christopher McGuinness (1-1), Paul Finlay (0-2), Daniel McKenna (0-2, 0-1f)
Subs: Karl O'Connell for Ryan Wylie (Blood sub 41, reversed 45), Thomas Kerr for Malone (41), Shane Smyth for Daniel McKenna (57), Padraic Keenan for Boyle (64), Daniel McMahon for Doogan (65)
Derry: Thomas Mallon; Declan Brown, Oisin Duffy (0-1), Michael McShane; Carlus McWilliams, Charlie Kielt (0-1), Sean Leo McGoldrick (0-1); Fergal Doherty, Mark Lynch (0-2, 0-1f); Ciaran McFaul (0-1), James Kielt (1-6, 0-3f), Enda Lynn (1-1); Declan Mullan (0-2), Emmett McGuckin (0-1), Benny Heron
Subs: Patsy Bradey for Doherty (49), Ciaran McGoldrick for Lynn (49), Aaron Kerrigan for Mullan (58), Niall Holly for Heron (58)
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).