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Derry hold on to emulate feat of All-Ireland heroes

Kerry 0-14 Derry 0-16

By Cahair O'Kane

A superb Derry performance earned them a deserved first win in Kerry since their All-Ireland winning year of 1993.

No-one in the Oak Leaf camp would have notions about getting carried away yet but after a promising opening day draw against Tyrone, the visitors to Killarney took a huge step towards retaining their Division One status with a two-point win.

All the pre-season talk about the gap that Eoin Bradley's absence would leave seems to have inspired Emmett McGuckin.

The Magherafelt man turned in an outstanding hour at full-forward and gave Derry the tip of an attack that took some sublime scores.

You wouldn't have thought a Derry win possible after five minutes. Electing to play man for man at the back against a strong breeze, the Oak Leaf full-back line looked a shade exposed.

Conor Cox and twice Barry John Keane raised white flags as Eamonn Fitzmaurice's team eased into an early 0-3 to 0-0 lead.

But despite a good performance from David Moran, the home side began to lose their way.

Mark Lynch (free), Sean Leo McGoldrick and Enda Lynn all pointed to draw the Oak Leafers level before Peter Crowley picked up a black card as he hit Lynch late after the Banagher man had played the ball.

Debutant Kevin Johnston got on the scoresheet to put Derry ahead and although the sides were twice level again at 0-4 and 0-5 apiece, the end of the half belonged to the visitors.

James Kielt hit two fine points after Ciaran McGoldrick had sneaked in to fist Derry ahead. Conor Cox landed the final score of the half for Kerry.

It was a gap that the Kingdom could only bridge once in the rest of the game. When Jonathan Lyne and O'Donoghue pointed to make it 0-9 apiece, Derry responded with three scores on the bounce.

Kerry lost Paul Murphy to a black card for a cynical trip on Fergal Doherty.

They had a Barry John Keane effort that looked inside the post flagged wide at a crucial stage and Stephen O'Brien flashed a late chance over.

Kerry pushed on to try and pull it back but Michael Geaney and Aidan O'Mahony both kicked wide from scoreable positions as Brian McIver's team held on.

Kerry: B Kelly; P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, B McGuire, J Sherwood (0-1); A Maher, D Moran; J Lyne (0-1), S O'Brien (0-1), D Walsh; BJ Keane (0-3, 0-2f), J O'Donoghue (0-1), C Cox (0-7, 0-4f). Subs: D Culhane for Crowley (black card, 17), P Geaney for BJ Keane (42), M Geaney for Sherwood (52), A O'Mahony for Maher (59), P Kilkenny for Murphy (black card, 65)

Derry: T Mallon; D Brown, C McKaigue, D McBride; G O'Kane, M Lynch (0-4, 0-3f), A McAlynn; F Doherty, N Holly; SL McGoldrick (0-2), J Kielt (0-2, 0-1f), E Lynn (0-2); K Johnston (0-1), E McGuckin (0-3), C McGoldrick (0-1). Subs: D Mullan for C McGoldrick (51), B Heron (0-1) for Johnston (51), C Kielt for McAlynn (57), C McFaul for Lynn (70), C O'Boyle for McGuckin (70)

Referee: C Lane (Cork).

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