DERRY CAME OUT on top of a scrappy encounter with Down in Division 2 of the Allianz National Football League, Rory Gallagher’s side beating their Ulster rivals 1-10 to 0-6 in Owenbeg this evening.
Niall Loughlin supplied the only goal of the game midway through the first half, with the hosts leading 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time.
And Derry held out in a tight second period, Gallagher’s side finishing with nine different scorers, while Andrew Gilmore top-scored for Down with 0-3.
In Division 3, Limerick survived a late rally from Longford to get their National League campaign off to a winning start, winning 4-9 to 1-11 at the Gaelic Grounds.
Limerick had built up a seven-point lead thanks to first-half goals from Brian Donovan and Cillian Fahy, but Longford managed to claw the deficit back to just two points late in the second half.
Having scored 3-5 in the opening period, after the break Limerick managed just two points before stoppage time, when Darragh Doherty’s goal brought Longford to within two points of the home side.
However Limerick pulled clear again with a late flurry of scores, including a goal from James Naughton, which extended their cushion to seven points.
Elsewhere in Division 3, Antrim hit 1-5 without reply in the final minutes to beat Fermanagh 1-14 to 0-8 at Brewster Park.
After a slow start Fermanagh managed to fight back and make it a one point game entering the final 10 minutes, but Antrim’s superior firepower saw Enda McGinley’s team pull clear again for a deserved win.
The Saffrons had the better of the first half play, leading 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.
And Fermanagh were made to pay for some wasteful finishing when Kevin Small found the net for Antrim, with the visitors then hitting the last five points of the game to seal the win.
In Division 4, London came from 10 points down to claim a dramatic win over Carlow, the Exiles winning on a score of 2-11 to 1-13 in what was their first competitive game in two years.
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The home team looked to be in control at Netwatch Cullen Park but London grew into the game after Carlow lost Jamie Clarke to a red card.
The hosts were seven points clear at that stage, but after clawing back Carlow’s lead a point from Killian Butler put London ahead in the 60th minute.
And London held on across a tense finish to claim a three-point win and make a superb start to their League campaign.