Derry took a huge step toward the Division 3 semi-finals thanks to a 19-point victory over shell-shocked Fermanagh.

After hitting Longford for 16 points last weekend, Derry were even better against their Ulster rivals, smashing five goals in an emphatic victory that leaves the Oak Leafers top of the table and with the cushion of a +35 scoring difference should the final standings come down to it.

Just like last week, Derry wheeled away in the game's third quarter, completely over-running the Erne men and scoring 3-02 to move into pole position to top the group ahead of next weekend's trip to Cavan.

Rory Gallagher had asked his side to be more clinical despite their Longford win and his request did not fall on deaf ears as goals from Ethan Doherty, Shane McGuigan (2), Gareth McKinless and Niall Toner put the seal on a brilliant win.

Derry manager Rory Gallagher

It was Fermanagh, however, who were quickest out of the blocks, pressing the home side back and taking advantage of early uncertainty in the Derry kick-out. First Ciaran Corrigan intercepted Odhran Lynch's restart to split the posts before Tiarnan Bogue did likewise after the Oak Leafers second kick-out had been lost.

If Derry were shocked by Fermanagh's blistering opening 90 seconds they didn't show it and soon settled into the game against their deep lying opponents.

In Ethan Doherty, Gareth McKinless and Conor Doherty Derry had pace to spare and players who could unpick the well manned Fermanagh lock. Indeed it was Doherty's pace which brought Derry back into the contest after that early Erne head start.

Derry were probing right, then left before the ball was fed into Heron. He won it well and drew in three defenders before recycling right were Doherty who unleashed a fierce shot high into the Fermanagh net for 1-01 to 0-02.

From there, Derry dominated the opening half and should have been further ahead than their eventual 1-07 to 0-06 interval lead suggested.

McGuigan, Heron and Conor Glass all scored lovely points but Sean Quigley frees were keeping Fermanagh in touch at 1-4 to 0-4 before Paul Cassidy, McGuigan and a Niall Loughlin free finally established some daylight for the home team.

Derry should have been well ahead at the break but, just as they had in Longford, rectified that stat in the third quarter with a devastating display that this week brought 3-02.

Ciaran McFaul's superb long-range point within seconds of the restart set the tone and from there Derry went to town. In the 39th minute, the home side won turnover ball that saw Ethan Doherty set up McKinless for a lovely side-footed finish to the net.

That was followed by a another goal when McFaul's brilliant individual run was halted by Josh Largo Ellis which brought the Fermanagh man a black card and Derry a penalty, confidently dispatched by McGuigan for 3-08 to 0-06.

Derry weren't finished yet as McFaul's superb pass picked out McGuigan in space on 49minutes and the Slaughtneil man didn't need asking twice, rifling home on his way to a personal tally of 2-05, all from play.

Substitute Niall Toner grabbed the fifth on 59 minutes with an opportunistic finish from Conor Glass' inviting square pass as Derry strolled to a comfortable but crucial win.

Derry scorers: Shane McGuigan (2-5, 1-0 en), Ethan Doherty (1-1), Gareth McKinless (1-0), NIall Toner (1-0), Benny Heron (0-1), Conor Glass (0-1), Paul Cassidy (0-1), Niall Loughlin (0-1, 1f), Ciaran McFaul (0-1), Conor Doherty (0-1), Oisin McWilliams (0-1). Fermanagh scorers: Sean Quigley (0-7, 5f, 1 forty-five), Ciaran Corrigan (0-1), Tiarnan Bogue (0-1),

Derry: Odhran Lynch, Chrissy McKaigue, Brendan Rogers, Padraig McGrogan, Padraig Cassidy, Gareth McKinless, Conor Doherty, Conor Glass, Emmett Bradley, Ethan Doherty, Niall Loughlin, Ciaran McFaul, Benny Heron, Shane McGuigan, Paul Cassidy.

Subs: Paul McNeill for C Doherty, 50mins; Niall Toner for P Cassidy, 55mins; Oisin McWilliams for E Bradley, 59mins; Shea Downey for B Heron, 60mins; Ben McCarron for N Loughlin, 64mins; Jack Doherty for P Cassidy, 64mins; Declan Cassidy for P McGrogan, 64mins;

Fermanagh: Chris Snow, Tiernan Daly, Jonny Cassidy, Luke Flanagan, Kane Connor, James McMahon, Kevin McDonnell, Eoin Donnelly, Stephen McGullion, Ciaran Corrigan, Tiarnan Bogue, Josh Largo Ellis, Sean Cassidy, Darragh McGurn, Sean Quigley.

Subs: Declan McCusker for E Donnelly (inj), 19mins; Cain McManus for T Daly (blood sub), 42mins; Aidan Breen for D McGurn, 44mins; Conor Love for S Cassidy, 44mins; Richard O'Callaghan for T Bogue, 54mins; Danny Leonard for T Daly, 57mins; Mark McCauley for J McMahon, 57mins; Paul MCCusker for C Corrigan, 62mins.

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)