Derry and Cavan were inseparable during normal time in their Bank of Ireland Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifier at Celtic Park today but that changed dramatically during extra time as Derry struck ten unanswered points to seal a 0-25 to 2-09 victory.
Cavan got the game going with a Michael Lyng point in the first minute of a damp afternoon. Then two Paddy Bradley points saw Derry ahead inside ten minutes before Francis McEldowney was carded for rough play.
Another Lyng point levelled matters but Cavan were coming under fierce pressure from Derry's quick midfield ball and Johnny McBride, Padraig Kelly and Fergal Doherty capitalised on this advantage with points to see Derry lead 0-05 to 0-02 after half an hour.
There were further bookings for Cavan's Anthony Gaynor and Trevor Crowe and one for Derry's Johnny McBride before Gerald Pearson goaled to keep Cavan in touch. The sides then exchanged a couple of points apiece for a 1-04 to 0-07 half time score in a highly competitive but scrappy match.
Derry hit the ground running in the second half as Enda Muldoon scored three unanswered points to open up a gap once more before a Lyng free steadied Cavan's ship. And his team-mates responded as McKeever and Lyng pointed before Jason O'Reilly gathered a flick on to race through the Derry defence and send a low shot into the net to edge Cavan ahead.
Derry responded through James Donaghy and Bradley but Cavan came back once again with Pearson and McKeever pointing before Derry earned extra time through late points from Bradley and McCusker.
The complexion of the game changed completely in extra time however, with Derry hitting ten unanswered points as Cavan's legs gave way. Bradley, Muldoon, Conleth Gilligan and the excellent Paul McFlynn were among the scorers as the Oak Leaf County sealed an energy sapping victory.
Filed by Johnny Proby