Leitrim's Keith Beirne relished the opportunity to confound the critics as he and his team-mates got life in Allianz Football League Division 3 off to an encouraging start.

Terry Hyland's side earned a draw away to Derry in their first third tier campaign for 12 years.

Beirne's individual performance proved crucial as his nine-point haul contributed to the 2-11 to 1-14 scoreline.

He told RTÉ Sport that the result confirmed Leitrim's belief that they can compete at Division 3 level.

"Everyone wrote us off coming up to Celtic Park and everyone said Derry beat you twice last year," said the Mohill club man.

"We worked hard in training, we had a rough FBD game [against Roscommon] and played a lot of young lads and we got destroyed.

"But we came back and worked hard in training for two solid weeks. We knew ourselves that we're capable of competing at this level."

That being said, Beirne highlighted a few areas where Leitrim can improve.

"We slipped up twice. We let them back in just before half-time and near the end of the second half," he said.

"We showed we can be at this level.

"We're disappointed in the sense that we didn't come out with a victory. But we're going to take one point and we're delighted with that.

"Considering everyone wrote us off to get hammered today and you can take one point, we can take it to next Sunday, bring Cork to our home back yard and see what we can get there."

He credited the "brotherhood" within the camp as key to the performance against Derry.