Ciaran McFaul was the hero for Derry who fought back to secure a 2-11 to 1-14 draw at the death against Leitrim in the Division 3 opener at Celtic Park.
These sides were promoted last season, with the Ulster outfit winning both games, including the Division 4 decider at Croke Park.
Leitrim had also suffered a 30-point hammering at the hands of Roscommon recently, but when Keith Beirne landed a 66th minute free they were in position for a shock win. Ben McCarron and McFaul combined to score two late points and earn a share of the spoils.
Derry were 1-8 to 1-7 ahead at half-time after Emmett Bradley cancelled out Cillian McGloin’s goal. Shane McGuigan fired a second Derry effort in the 46th minute but Beirne pushed Leitrim back in front only to be thwarted.
Teams and Scorers
DERRY: Odhrán Lynch, Conor McCluskey, Padraig McGrogan, Liam McGoldrick, Brendan Rogers, Chrissy McKaigue (0-01), Conor Doherty, Gavin O’Neill, Emmett Bradley (1-02, 0-02f), Eoghan Duffy (0-01), Danny Tallon, Ciaran McFaul (0-01), Ben McCarron (0-01), Ryan Bell (0-02, 0-01f), Christopher Bradley.
Derry Subs: Shane McGuigan (1-01, 0-01f) for C Bradley, 41mins; Niall Toner for G O’Neill, 53mins; Niall Keenan for L McGoldrick, 55mins; Alex Doherty for E Duffy, 60mins; Carlus McWilliams for C Doherty, 65mins;
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)