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Derry reeling as Bradley lands four-game ban

By John Campbell

After last week's impressive opening round defeat of Tyrone, Derry have been hit with a four-week suspension for top forward Eoin Bradley.

Bradley, who scored 0-4 (0-3fs), got a yellow card during last week's victory, but it was retrospectively upgraded to a red card and he's been given a four-week suspension, a big blow as they're also currently without his injured brother Paddy.

Manager Damian Cassidy has completely re-jigged his attack and has a new full-forward line to face Dublin tomorrow.

Joe Diver comes into the half-forwards and Caolan O'Boyle takes over from Bradley at full-forward and he is now flanked by Enda Lynn and Aidan McLoughlin at the expense of Seamus Bradley and Raymond Wilkinson.

James Kielt, whose free-taking accuracy was a central ingredient of Queen’s University’s surge into the McKenna Cup final 12 months ago in which they were beaten by Donegal, is still potting points from all angles and distances — but with a bigger goal in mind.

The talented Kilrea forward is emerging as a key cog in the Derry attack now that their assault on National League and Championship progress has launched.

And should Kielt replicate the form he showed against Tyrone last weekend when the Oak Leafs confront Dublin at Parnell Park tomorrow night (7.30pm) then the chances are that they could thrust themselves into pole position for the league crown.

Yet while Kielt’s half-dozen immaculate points under-pinned the downfall of Tyrone and Cassidy would be quite happy if he were to reserve his five-star performances for the championship.

“Derry are not total strangers to league titles, but they crave a helping of championship success and that’s where we will really require everyone to stand up and be counted,” insists Cassidy.

Derry team: Barry Gillis, Brian Og McAlary, Gerard O'Kane, Dermot McBride, Charlie Kielt, Mark Lynch, Liam Hinphey, Fergal Doherty, Patsy Bradley, Joe Diver, James Kielt, Andrew McCartney, Enda Lynn, Caolan O' Boyle, Aidy McLaughlin, Martin Dunne, Michael McGoldrick, Mark Craig, Barry McGuigan, Kevin McCloy, Brian Mullan, Seamus Bradley, Eoghan Brown, Lee Moore.

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