NHL Division 3
Rory Gallagher welcomes his native county Fermanagh to Owenbeg this Saturday as Derry look to continue their impressive early-season form, but he insists their filleting of Longford will count for little if they fail to push on for promotion to Division Two.
“It won’t matter one iota, it’s so cut-throat,” said Gallagher.
“We’ll not reflect too much on the win, we’ll just focus on recovery and producing a really good performance next time. There’s going to be a huge amount at stake next week.
“It’s very clear what our aim is, and you can’t achieve that if you don’t put in a big performance first day out. It’s a good foundation now.”
Derry produced their best display under Gallagher’s tutelage and threw an early gauntlet down in Division Three North hammering Longford by 16 points.
Shane McGuigan top scored for the Oak Leafs with seven points, with the Slaughtneil sharp-shooter stoutly assisted by Niall Loughlin with six frees. Midfield partners Emmett Bradley and Conor Glass shared five points between them from play.
Up front Longford’s early rust in front of goal gradually grew into scores. Glen man Glass nailed two fine points from play, while Niall Loughlin and Shane McGuigan scored three points apiece by way of frees.
At the back Gallagher’s men were even more impressive. At times every Derry player was stationed in their own ’45 but it was their intensity and ferocity in the tackle that caught the eye as the men in red notched up umpteen turnovers.
The ceaseless rain that had so blighted the first half finally subsided, but Derry continued to shine.
The visitors roared out of the blocks after the interval, hitting nine points without reply. Defensively they remained stubborn and robust with beleaguered Longford finally moving the scoreboard on the hour mark.
But it was all Derry, with substitute Ben McCarron scoring his side’s final point.
Longford: D Gallagher 0-3 (0-1f), D Mimnagh 0-1, L Moran 0-1
Derry: S McGuigan 0-7 (0-5f), N Loughlin 0-6f (2 ‘45s), E Bradley 0-3, C Glass 0-2, P Cassidy 0-1, C McFaul 0-1, B McCarron 0-1