Derry's greater power, panache and experience pushed them to a deserved victory over a young Sligo side in a highly entertaining affair in Ederney.

And it was a strong scoring surge from the winners in the third quarter when they hit six points in as many minutes after leading by just a point on a score of 1-08 to 1-07 at the break.

But marksman Cormac O'Doherty, Fintan Bradley, Gerard Bradley and Odhran McKeever rattled over the points to put Derry into 1-17 to 1-10 lead by the 50th minute.

Sligo did respond through a magnificent solo goal from wing-forward Joe McHugh to narrow the gap to three points with 14 minutes left.

But, with O’Doherty rediscovering his accuracy Derry eased home, although Sligo pressed them all the way.

Wasteful Derry’s margin of victory (they hit 16 wides) could have been even greater only for two magnificent saves from Sligo keeper Jimmy Gordon in either half.

Before the match, there was a poignant minute’s silence for young Sligo GAA star Red Óg Murphy who tragically passed away on Friday.

Derry had an explosive start with Deaglan Foley spearing his way through the Sligo defence and placed McKeever in a perfect spot, and the son of Derry 1993 All-Ireland winner Kieran McKeever lashed the sliotar to the net in the third minute.

Slaughtneil marksman O’Doherty added another point as Sligo struggled to get on terms.

The Yeats County captain Finnian Cawley got his side off the mark in the seventh minute.

Andrew Kilcullen and O’Doherty swapped points as both sides showed early nerves. McHugh then hit a superb over the shoulder point for Sligo.

Galway star Rory Hannify left just a point between the sides by the end of the first quarter- before Derry’s Brian Óg McGilligan edged the Oak Leafers back in front.

But a rasping shot from the side line from Niall Feehily ended up in the Derry net in the 30th minute to leave Sligo trailing by a point at the interval.

However, this match was effectively settled in the third quarter by that sustained Derry surge that put them into a 1-17 to 1-10 lead.

Gritty Sligo refused to yield and McHugh’s wonder goal gave them a window of hope.

However, Derry did not panic with O’Doherty in particular steering them home to victory.

The Yeats County introduced injured star Gerard O’Kelly Lynch, but he was well marshalled by the Derry defence.

Sligo had a last-gasp penalty in the 72nd minute after McHugh was pulled down, but O’Kelly Lynch drove it over the bar on the final whistle.

A deserved victory for Derry whose sheer physical power was crucial in the rucks and mauls.

They now go on to play in Division 2A and could make real progress in that grade.

This young Sligo team has loads of potential and are capable of moving up next year.

Derry: Oisin O’Doherty; Ciaran Hendry, Mark Craig, Darragh McCloskey; Meehaul McGrath, Conor Kelly (0-02), Paddy Kelly; Cormac O’Doherty (0-08, 8f), Darragh McGilligan; Fintan Bradley (0-03), John Mullan (0-02), Brian Óg McGilligan (0-01); Daglan Foley (0-01), Odhran McKeever (1-04), Gerard Bradley (0-02);

Sub: Sean Kelly for Odhran McKeever (70).

Sligo: Jimmy Gordon; Niall Kilcullen, Mark Hannify; Kevin O’Kennedy; Gavin Connolly, Rory McHugh (0-01) Niall Feehily (1-00); Finnian Cawley (0-01), Fionn Connolly; Joe McHugh (1-02), Rory Hannify (0-03), Kevin Gilmartin; Ruairi Brennan, Andy Kilcullen (0-06, 6f) Tomas Cawley.

Subs: Tony O’Kelly Lynch for Kevin Gilmartin (20), Michael Munnely for Ruairi Brennan (ht), Patrick Foley for Fionn Connolly (44), Gerard O’Kelly Lynch (0-01) for Tomas Cawley (51), Eoin Comerford for Tony O’Kelly Lynch (70).

Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim).