Derry hurlers back to winning ways against Mayo
Thursday, 16 February 2017
AFTER failing to win a single game last year, Derry hurlers got back to winning ways with a one point victory over Mayo at Castlebar.
They looked comfortable entering the latter stages but a late Mayo goal from corner back Hunt made it a nervy finish for the Oak Leaf men.
It was a good start for new manager and former player Colm McGurk. Last year Mayo had been one of the long list of teams who had beaten Derry. This time, Derry were a much improved team as players came back to strengthen the panel.
McGurk was forced to make late changes to his selected line out. Eugene McGuckin came in at full back for the injured Liam Hinphey. In attack, the experienced duo of Ruairi Convery and Paddy Henry came in for Johnny O'Dwyer and Darragh Cartin.
Mayo were minus their dual star Keith Higgins who had played with his county footballers the previous evening against Kerry. There were league debuts for Gavin McCormick, Ciaran Steele and Patrick Turner but in general, it was a pretty experienced Derry side.
The home team got off to a bright start with points from Joe McManus and Corey Scahill. Derry soon got to grips with the difficult conditions and led by big full forward Ruaui Convery who goaled from the penalty spot, pushed into a 1-8 to 0-7 half time lead. He also scored two quite brilliant points from sideline cuts.
It looked as if Derry were on their way to a comfortable victory when Alan Grant and Brian Og McGilligan extended their lead to six points at the start of the second half.
*Read the full story in this week's Northern Constitution.
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