It was a story of two key goal chances in the big game in Division 2B at Celtic Park.
Richie Mullen fired in his opportunity for the home side while Sean Kelly made a superb save to deny Down’s Eoghan Sands, and Derry ran out 1-19 to 0-19 winners.
Derry’s Cormac O’Doherty and his Mourne County counterpart Oisín McManus were in excellent form scoring 0-13 each, but Derry kept their noses in front to secure a crucial two points.
Derry: Sean Kelly, Paddy Kelly, Sean Cassidy, Darragh Cartin, Brian Og McGilligan, Eamon McGill, Conor Kelly, Eoghan Cassidy, Paul Cleary, Thomas Brady, Cormac O’Doherty, Tiernan McHugh, Odhran McKeever, Alan Grant, Richie Mullan; Subs: Jerome McGuigan for A Grant, HT; Stefan McCloskey for P Cleary, 52mins; Bliadhan Glass for O McKeever, 60mins; Darragh McCloskey for R Mullan, 69mins;
Scorers: Richie Mullan (1-00), Cormac O’Doherty, (0-13, 11f), Odhran McKeever (0-02), Paul Cleary (0-01), Eoghan Cassidy (0-01), Conor Kelly (0-01), Thomas Brady (0-01)
Down: Stephen Keith, Darragh Mallon, Caolan Taggart, Pearse Og McCrickard, John McManus, Conor Woods, PJ Davidson, Matt Conlon, Phelim Savage, Liam Savage, Danny Toner, Oisin McManus, Gerard Hughes, Eoghan Sands, Tim Prenter; Subs: Tom Murray for P Savage, HT; Ryan McCusker for PJ Davidson, HT; Chris Egan for P McCrickard, 47mins; Ronan Costello for T Prenter, 55mins;
Scorers: Oisin McManus (0-13, 11f, 1 ’65’), Pearse Og Crickard (0-01, 1sl), Ryan McCusker (0-02), Conor Woods (0-01, 1f), John McManus (0-01), Tom Murray (0-01)