Allianz Football League Division 2: Derry 2-11 Louth 1-11
Unbeaten in 2023, Derry somehow found a way out of DEFY Páirc Mhuire in Ardee with two points against a gutsy Louth side who remain without a point in Division 2 after two rounds.
While the winners were somewhat off colour, Rory Gallagher’s side look on course for a promotion tilt yet again. Niall Toner swung the game in the Ulster champions’ favour, quiet, like his side, Toner burst to life to finish with 1-1 to his name.
The late goal in the 58th minute would prove to be the difference on the day and, with momentum behind him, he turned the screw with a long-range point. With Louth pushing for goals at the other end, Derry landed three of the last four points of the even affair. Louth began smartly, comfortable in possession and dealt with an early Shane McGuigan penalty to take the lead just before half time with three unanswered scores and a Liam Jackson goal.
McGuigan did level the game 1-6 a piece with a free but Derry were quick out of the dressing room for the second half. Sam Mulroy landed his first score of the game as he traded with McGuigan at the start of the second half.
Louth looked to be turning a screw when Tom Jackson tapped over an excellent counter attack to see the hosts lead 1-10 to 1-8.
Then Toner undone all Louth’s endeavour when he collected rookie goalkeeper Peter McStravick’s flap away from a high searching ball on the edge of the square. With Derry now in front, they would not relinquish the hard-earned advantage.
Louth: P McStravick; D Corcoran, D Campbell, D McKenny; L Grey, N Sharkey (0-1), C McKeever; C Early, C Murphy; L Jackson (1-0), S Mulroy (0-3, 1mark, 1free ), T Jackson (0-2); C Downey; C Grimes (0-1), Daire McConnon (0-3, 2frees). Subs: C Lennon (0-1) for L Jackson (51), P Lynch for McKenny (64), T Durnin for Murphy (64), J Hughes for McConnon (64), B Duffy for Sharkey (75).
Derry: O Lynch; C McKaigue, E McEvoy, C McCluskey; P McGrogan (0-2), C Doherty, P Cassidy (0-2); B Rogers, C Glass; N Toner (1-1), S McGuigan (1-5,1-0pen, 3frees), E Doherty; B Heron, L Murray, N Loughlin. Subs: O McWilliams (0-1) for E Doherty (46), P Cassidy for McEvoy (49), B McCarron for Loughlin (59), M Downey for Murray (66), S Downey for Heron (69).
Referee: P Faloon (Down).