Dublin comprehensively beat Derry today in Clones on a scoreline of 3-09 to 1-09 to advance to the third round of the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Senior Football qualifiers. Three goals from Dessie Farrell, Senan Connell and Jason Sherlock demoralised a poor Derry side and although the Dubs only took full control of the game towards the end of the second half they ultimately ran out easy winners.
The match opened with a point from Darren Crozier on two minutes. Dublin responded with two points to take a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the match. The marksmanship from both sets of forwards was extremely poor early on. However, more worrying for Derry was that they weren't creating as many chances. Their tactic of driving long balls for Enda Muldoon in the hope that they would break down to Geoffrey McGonigle was easily read by the Dublin defence. On the 13th minute Senan Connell pointed for Dublin and Derry responded with a point for the scavanging McGonigle.
Both Paddy Bradley and McGonigle missed kickable scores for Derry while Alan Brogan and Ray Cosgrave were missing points for Dublin. In the 28th minute Dessie Farrell turned on the style to leave Derry backs in his wake and drive the ball into the back of the net - albeit with a strong suspicion of over-carrying. At the other end Bradley fisted a point for Derry, but within two minutes the Dublin backs had broken down a Derry attack and pumped the ball downfield. Senan Connell collected after finding himself in acres of space and almost burst the back of the net to send Dublin into the dressing room ahead on a scoreline of 2-04 to 0-05.
Cosgrave re-opened the scoring for Dublin and at the other end McGonagle and Muldoon missed points for Derry. Five minutes into the second half Dublin brought on Jason Sherlock for John McNally - a suprise starter on Tommy Lyons' XV. Derry were still trying hard to breach the Dublin defence and in the 42nd minute McGonigle fisted into Bradley but Stephen Cluxton came out to save well. Sherlock elected to point a goal chance in the 43rd minute. Three minutes later McGonigle capped off some hard work to get another Derry point, but it was soon cancelled out by a lucky Ciaran Whelan effort which hit off the upright to go between the posts. In the 47th minute Sherlock bagged his second as his partnership with clubmate Farrell seemed to be bearing fruit.
In the 48th minute McGonigle got his third point while Anthony Tohill's luck deserted him when his shot came back off the post and into play again. An unselfish hand-pass from Farrell allowed Jayo get in for his first goal and Dublin’s third. Derry responded with a goal when Tohill hand-passed to Paddy Bradley who scored. However, hopes of late Derry revival were to prove unfounded as they managed to follow this up with only one more score - a point from Padraig O’Kane on 65 minutes after Sherlock and Farrell had combined again for a point for Dublin.
Despite the often lacklustre, scrappy fare, the Dubs will be satisfied with their day out in the north-east. One suspects though that no matter what county Lyons' men are drawn against tomorrow, they will face a stiffer examination of their championship credentials.
Filed by Barry J Whyte