Christy Ring Cup: Armagh 1-14 Derry 2-30

Naoise Waldron
Naoise Waldron netted for Derry in Saturday's victory over Armagh

Derry proved too strong for Armagh as they picked up their first Christy Ring Cup points at the Athletic Grounds.

Goals from Mehaul McGrath and Naoise Waldron made it a comfortable afternoon for Collie McGurk's side.

Armagh raced into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead with Stephen Renaghan darting through for a superb solo goal.

The hosts led 1-12 to 1-8 at half-time but their challenge faded and they prop up the table following a second successive defeat.

Armagh made a bright start with a strong wind on their backs and Renaghan hit the Derry net on 12 minutes.

Dylan McKenna, Eoin McGuinness and David McCreesh all shot quality points to boost confidence in the home ranks, but they were caught out at the back as McGrath got in to rifle home a 17th minute Derry goal.

Caolan Rice's long range score had the Orchard men ahead by five at the end of the opening quarter, but the balance started to swing in the visitor's favour as the first half wore on.

Closing in

Wing backs Eamonn McGill and Paul Cleary provided the platform, and there were scores from McGrath, Alan Grant, Brian Cassidy and Mark McGuigan as they narrowed the gap to a single point.

Cassidy had a goal chance, but sent his shot wide, and in the closing stages, another Armagh flourish saw McCreesh land a couple of quality efforts to send his side in with a four-point advantage.

But within three minutes of the second half, the sides were level, and after Grant had nudged them in front for the fist time, they never looked back.

Derry shot seven points on the spin to leave their opponents reeling, and effectively killed the game off when Se McGuigan sent Waldron in for a clinically executed goal in the 46th minute.

There was no let-up in the punishment Armagh had to endure, with Gerard Bradley and Grant adding further scores, and despite pulling back points through Renaghan and Nathan Curry, Armagh were never going to salvage anything from this one.

Derry finished with ten unanswered scores, leaving Grant with seven points, Cassidy six and McGuigan four.

Armagh scorers: S Renaghan 1-1, D McCreesh 0-5, C Rice 0-2, E McGuinness, D McKenna, J Corvan, N Curry (f), D Gaffney, S Toal 0-1 each

Derry scorers: M McGrath 1-3, N Waldron 1-1, A Grant 0-7 (4f, 1 '65), B Cassidy 0-6 (3f), S McGuigan 0-4, D Cartin, M McGuigan, G Bradley, C Waldron 0-2 each, P Cleary 0-1.

Armagh: S Doherty; O Curry, P Gaffney, A Fox; C Lavery, C Clifford, J Corvan; N Curry, P McGrane; D McKenna, C Rice, D McCreesh; S Renaghan, E McGuinness, D Gaffney.

Subs: S Toal for Lavery, B Shortt for Rice, D Magee for McKenna, C McAnallen for McCreesh, D Grant for McGrane.

Derry: M Kirkpatrick; D McCloskey, S Cassidy, N Farren; E McGill, C McKenna, P Cleary; M McGuigan, G Bradley; A Grant, M McGrath, C Waldron; N Waldron, S McGuigan, B Cassidy.

Subs: J Phelan for McGill, L Murphy for S McGuigan, D Cartin for McCloskey, C McCrystal for Kirkpatrick, T Rankin for N Waldron.

Referee: L Gordon (Galway).