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Derry build a ‘wall’ for Dublin 45

Derry produced an unusual but hugely effective tactic during the Allianz Football League Division 2 final against Dublin

Derry wall

Rory Gallagher’s Derry team have not been afraid to trial different tactics in recent years. The Oak Leaf County have enjoyed remarkable success over the past 15 months, winning an Ulster title last summer and sealing promotion back to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League in recent weeks.

Their eagerness to pour bodies forward and deploy a five-man inside forward line at times when attacking a blanket defence has received widespread praise as a progressive tactic.

On Sunday afternoon at Croke Park, they brought a new trick to the party in the Allianz Football League Division 2 final. Defending a ’45’ in the second-half, Gallagher’s team threw bodies in front of the taker to provide a distraction.

In total, 10 players in red and white lined up alongside the edge of the D, akin to a wall in soccer, and it proved hugely effective.

Dublin taker Con O’Callaghan registered a wide, and perhaps the raw surprise of being faced with such a line-up put the Cuala man off.

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Derry wall

However, Derry ultimately came up short on Sunday, as four second-half goals from Killian O’Gara, Paul Mannion, John Small and Lorcan O’Dell for Dessie Farrell’s team secured a 4-6 to 0-11 victory for the Boys in Blue.

Nonetheless, they will take major heart from a promising springtime campaign as they look forward to their Ulster Championship defence.

They open their Anglo-Celt Cup campaign against Fermanagh, with the winner facing Tyrone or Monaghan in the semi-final.

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