Derry and Tyrone draw in league opener

Derry 1-15 - Tyrone 2-12
Published Sunday, 02 February 2014
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Derry and Tyrone shared the spoils in their opening Division 1 game of the National Football League campaign, after Saturday night's encounter between the sides at Celtic Park ended in a draw.

Derry and Tyrone draw in league opener
Derry's Mark Lynch and Tyrone's Conan Grugan in action at Celtic Park. (© Presseye)

The game was the only one involving Ulster counties to survive the wet weather on Saturday, with Down's division 2 opener against Monaghan and Fermanagh's Division 3 clash with Cavan both postponed until Sunday afternoon.

Derry opened the scoring through a James Keilt free but the visitors responded with a goal from Conan Grugan to edge into the lead.

Derry responded well with five unanswered points before Tyrone began to impose themselves once more, with Colm Cavanagh's introduction after Danny McBride had been black-carded proving crucial.

Goalkeeper Niall Morgan reeled off two monster frees as the Red Hands scored four points of their own without reply to lead 1-6 to 0-7 at the break.

Tyrone exploded out of the blocks in the second half, with Danny McCurry adding a second goal to help extend the lead to seven points.

However Derry battled back into the contest and Fergal Doherty saw his goal-bound effort turned onto the post before Caolan O'Boyle punched the ball into the net after a great run by Sean Leo McGoldrick to reduce the deficit to two points.

Tyrone responded but points from Doherty, Mark Lynch and Gerard O'Kane tied the game with six minutes remaining.

Both sides had chances to snatch the victory, but ultimately the draw was a fair result after an entertaining game played in poor conditions.

Tyrone meet last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo in their next league encounter, while Derry face a tough trip to Kerry for their second match of the campaign.

In Saturday's Keogh Cup hurling semi-final between Down and Kildare there was bad news for the Ardsmen ahead of their Ulster final meeting against Antrim on Sunday.

Gerard Monan's side will be without the services of the influential Gareth Johnston and James Coyle after both picked up injuries in Hawkfield on Saturday.

Down lost the game by 1-9 to 1-8, just a day before they are due to contest the 2013 provincial decider.

The final, which is taking place at Celtic Park in Derry on Sunday afternoon, has been a source of controversy after the Ulster Council were unable to secure a date for the decider last year.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
bucko kelly in ballinderry co derry wrote (360 days ago):
hard luck derry,better luck in kerry
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