Derry’s 2020 McKenna Cup opener against Monaghan in Inniskeen ended in defeat despite a spirited performance on Sunday.
The Oak Leafers recovered after a slow start to take a one-point lead into the interval and extended their advantage to three points early in the second period. Emmett Bradley (0-5) and Ryan Bell (0-4) were prominent in the Derry attack.
However Rory Gallagher’s men were reeled in by the home side as the contest wore on, with Aaron Mulligan top-scoring for the Farney men with 1-4, as they emerged with a six-point win.
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan, Ryan O’Toole, Conor Boyle, Colin Walshe, Padraic Keenan, Ryan Wylie, Micheál Bannigan, Barry McBennett, Darren Hughes, Aaron Mulligan, Andrew Woods, Philip Donnelly, Conor McCarthy, Gary Mohan, Dessie Ward; (Subs) Kieran Hughes for G Mohan, HT; Dermot Malone for P Donnelly, 37mins; Jack McCarron for Andrew Woods, 50mins; Niall Kearns for D Hughes, 56mins; Karl O’Connell for P Keenan, 60mins
Scorers: Aaron Mulligan (1-4, 2f), Conor McCarthy (0-1), Rory Beggan (0-3, 2f, 1 ’45’), Micheal Bannigan (0-2), Dessie Ward (0-2), Kieran Hughes (0-2), Jack McCarron (0-2), Barry McBennett (0-1)
DERRY: Thomas Mallon, Conor McCluskey, Padraig McGrogan, Ryan Dougan, Ciaran McFaul, Shea Downey, Declan Cassidy, Padraig Cassidy, Emmett Bradley, Danny Tallon, Christopher Bradley, Oisin McWilliams, Ben McCarron, Eoghan Duffy, Ryan Bell; (Subs) Jack Doherty for O McWilliams, HT; Niall Toner for D Tallon, 49mins; Alex Doherty for B McCarron , 54mins; Conor McAtamney for E Duffy, 60mins
Scorers: Emmet Bradley (0-5, 2f), Ryan Bell (0-4, 1f), Ben McCarron (0-2, 1f), Ciaran McFaul (0-1), Jack Doherty (0-1), Christopher Bradley (0-1)
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)