Defeat leaves Derry in relegation trouble

Mayo's Colm Boyle and Derry captain Mark Lynch
Mayo's Colm Boyle and Derry captain Mark Lynch

Derry are in deep relegation trouble after losing to Mayo on Sunday.

The Oak Leafers couldn’t sustain a spirited comeback and it was Mayo who hit a crucial late goal to secure the points.

Having trailed by 1-7 to 0-6 at the break, Mark Ronaldson having scored a freak goal for Mayo on 29 minutes – the ball struck a post from Cillian O’Connor’s free and fell kindly for him to fire home – Derry hit four in a row at one stage to draw level.

However, it was the visitors who responded with a fine spell which yielded 1-2, Kevin McLoughlin bringing them back to life with a vital point from play before Mikey Sweeney hit the all-important goal with time starting to ebb away, making it 2-12 to 0-13 in the Westerners’ favour.

There was still another twist as Derry struck for a goal through Brian Óg McGilligan, who left two between the sides.

It leaves Derry on two points from their four matches and their remaining fixtures see them travel to Monaghan and Dublin before finishing at home to Cork.

“We asked the lads for a big performance and we got it,” said Derry boss Brian McIver.

“We will be doing the same next week in Clones.

“We battled superbly but just did not press on.”

Meanwhile, late points from Rory Beggan and Fintan Kelly saw Monaghan defeat Donegal at O’Donnell Park.

Donegal looked to have answered a wake up call when Michael Murphy flicked Neil Gallagher’s long ball to the net, but it proved to be their only score of the second half.

Monaghan boss Malachy O’Rourke said; “It came down to hunger and work-rate in the second half and we were able to convert our chances.

“It is a tight division. everybody is in the shake-up for everything.”

In Division Two, Down scored six of the last seven points to stage a remarkable comeback against Galway.

Paul Devlin converted an injury-time free from 45m with the last kick of the game to snatch victory away from the Tribesmen and go to the top of the Division.

Galway had a strong wind advantage in the first half and led by six points at half time, Patrick Sweeney with an early goal after six minutes, but Donal O’Hare’s 43rd minute goal sparked a spirited Down revival.

Kevin Walsh’s side still led by 1-15 to 1-11 with ten minutes remaining but Down mounted a fightback reminiscent of their late heroics which stunned Kildare in Newbridge last month.

On Saturday, Dublin’s Dean Rock, who scored 1-6 for the home side, fisted the only goal of the game a minute from time to deny Tyrone.

Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan had a free at the end to win it for Mickey Harte’s side but his shot went wide.
In Division Three, the all-Ulster clash between Armagh and Fermanagh finished all square.

Allianz FL Division 1

Donegal 1-4 Monaghan 0-9, Derry 1-13 Mayo 2-12, Dublin 1-9 Tyrone 0-12

Allianz FL Division 2

Down 1-17 Galway 1-16, Kildare 2-13 Cavan 0-14

Allianz FL Division 3

Armagh 1-10 Fermanagh 1-10

Allianz FL Division 4

Antrim 1-12 London 1-8