Late points flurry keeps Derry looking up
Derry 0-14 Longford 0-5
Derry kept up their promotion chase with a comfortable victory over a disappointing Longford side at Celtic Park on Saturday evening.
Brian McIver’s side were the better team throughout the game as they bravely threw their half-back line high up the pitch in an attempt to counteract Longford's blanket defence.
However, no less than 13 times over the 70 minutes Derry kicked wide of Damien Sheridan's posts, making it a tougher encounter than their dominance should have allowed it to be.
Enda Lynn opened the scoring for the hosts early on, but after 10 minutes the score was level at |0-1 apiece courtesy of a superb score from Longford's best forward, Bernard McElvaney.
He was to eventually land three brilliant efforts from play, but the fact that Dermot McBride had his partner-in-crime Sean McCormack so well marshalled after his impressive 2-4 haul last weekend didn't help the visitors.
They were still well in the game at half-time, trailing by just three at 0-5 to 0-2, by which time Eoin Bradley had moved into the Derry attack.
The gap was narrower still by the midway point of the second half, when Glenn Ryan's side pulled themselves back to within two at 0-6 to 0-4.
Derry hit eight of the game's last nine points as they kept themselves in the hunt on a night when Louth and Laois also recorded important victories.
Derry: E McNicholl; G O'Kane, C McKaigue, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch (0-1), SL McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, PJ McCloskey; A McAlynn, J Kielt (0-4, 0-1f), E Lynn (0-2); D Heavron (0-1), E McGuckin, L Kennedy. Subs: E Bradley (0-3, 0-2f) for Kennedy (23), R Wilkinson (0-2) for McGuckin (HT), M Bateson for Lynch (43), B Heron for C Kielt (56), Philip Bradley for McCloskey (68).
Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C Smyth, F Battrim, S Mulligan; M Brady, J Keegan; B McElvaney (0-3), D McElligot, A Rowan; F McGee, D Barden, S McCormack (0-2f). Subs: P Foy for McElligot (HT), JJ Matthews for Rowan (54), JP Reilly for Barden (59), S Doyle for Smyth (66).
Referee: C O'Hagan (Tyrone).