Derry have hit the ground running in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League and they collected their second brace of points with a convincing win over Offaly in Tullamore.
It puts the Ulster outfit firmly in the promotion mix while Offaly are headed for the relegation battle after a second successive defeat. While Derry's two goals came in injury-time at the end of each half, both were very preventable, but they were full value for their win here.
A fortunate green flag just on the stroke of half-time had given Derry a decisive 1-09 to 0-02 lead at the break. The northerners had played with a very strong wind in the first half against a hard-working Offaly outfit.
The home side stuck with them for a lot of the half and a four or five-point half-time deficit would have been retrievable but a ten-point one left them with a mountain to climb. The goal in the 37th minute was a debatable one as Offaly goalkeeper fumbled a Conor McFaul ball and Niall Loughlin got it into the net – the hosts appealed for a free out but the score was given after referee David Coldrick consulted with his umpires.
Before that, Derry had the bulk of possession but the Faithful attacked well on the break. Derry led by 0-06 to 0-02 with 29 minutes gone and Offaly were the happier side at this stage. However, 1-02 in the closing minutes changed the complexion of the game.
John Maughan's side never remotely looked like saving the game in the second half as Derry operated in a comfort zone. Derry won the second half by 1-04 to 0-05 and that tells the way in which they controlled proceedings. Offaly tried hard with Bill Carroll getting two points, Dylan Hyland three, but they never got the run of scores to bother their opponents.
Derry defended well, attacked powerfully on the break and the outstanding Shane McGuigan had a 50th minute goal disallowed for over-carrying.
The hosts missed simple frees and Derry put the icing on the cake with a 73rd minute goal from McGuigan when the home goalkeeper Paddy Dunican didn't get back after going upfield.
Offaly: Paddy Dunican (0-01, f); Declan Hogan (0-01), James Lalor, Niall Darby; Lee Pearson, Johnny Moloney, Colm Doyle; Jordan Hayes, Bill Carroll (0-02); Ciaran Donnelly, David Dempsey, Dylan Hyland (0-03); Anton Sullivan, Bernard Allen, Ruari McNamee.
Subs: Cormac Egan for Moloney (45m), Niall McNamee for Allen (48m), Jack Bryant for Sullivan (55m), Joseph O'Connor for Doyle (57m), Cathal Donoghue for Pearson (63m).
Derry: Odhran Lynch; Shea Dowling, Brendan Rogers (0-01), Conor McCluskey; Ciaran McFaul (0-01), Conor Doherty, Padraig McGrogan (0-01); Conor Glass, Emmet Bradley; Ethan Doherty, Niall Loughlin (1-02, 1f), Paul Cassidy; Benny Heron (0-01), Shane McGuigan (1-06, 5f), Lachlan Murray (0-01).
Subs: Niall Toner for Murray (45m), Matthew Downey for Heron (52m), Paul McNeill for McCluskey (57m), Padraig Cassidy for Doherty (60m), Declan Cassidy for Paul Cassidy (68m).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).