Gilligan strike paves way for Derry success
Derry cruised into a Dr McKenna Cup semi-final clash with Down after defeating Donegal by two points in Ballybofey.
Both sides featured changes, with Derry making eight from the team that defeated UUJ at the weekend.
It was a very entertaining opening half despite referee Padraig Hughes blowing 32 frees and flashing five yellow cards.
There was a whirlwind opening, with Dermot Molloy pointing a free for Donegal, while Cailean O'Boyle won a penalty at the other end on two minutes for Conleith Gilligan to find the corner of the net.
Molloy was on fire for Donegal, converting five first-half points and he was also on the end of two goal chances, the second of which he flashed first-time just past the post in the final minute of the half.
Derry had their goal chances too, with Gilligan putting John McCamley clear on 16 minutes, but he was way off target with just the 'keeper to beat.
The visitors were sharper in the second half, hitting four points in 13 minutes to go two ahead and they always kept their noses in front after that to make the victory safe.
Scorers -- Derry: C Gilligan 1-3 (1-0 pen, 2f), G O'Kane 0-3, E Brown, E McGuckin 0-1 each. Donegal: D Molloy 0-6 (4f), P McBrearty 0-2, A Thompson 0-1.
Derry -- D Devlin; B McCallion, P McGlade, C Murray; C McKaigue, D McBride, SL McGoldrick; J McCamley, M Bateson; B McGoldrick, M Lynch, G O'Kane; E Brown, C O'Boyle, C Gilligan. Subs: J Conway for Bateson (38), E McGuckin for Lynch (47), R Dillon for C Murray (56), E Lynn for McGoldrick (69), N Forrester for Gilligan (70).
Donegal -- M Mullin; T McKinley, J Bonner, F McGlynn; A Thompson, C Classon, D Walsh; R Kavanagh, R Bradley; D Walsh, D McLaughlin, M O'Reilly; P McBrearty, D Molloy, C McManus. Subs: N McGee for Bonner (h-t), G McMcFadden for McManus (41), P McGrath for McLaughlin (47).
REF -- P Hughes (Armagh).