DERRY SFC: Slaughtneil cruise past Foreglen to set up ‘Screen test

Paul Bradley helped Slaughtneil to a quarter-final victory over Foreglen to set up a last eight meeting with Ballinascreen.
Paul Bradley helped Slaughtneil to a quarter-final victory over Foreglen to set up a last eight meeting with Ballinascreen.

Slaughtneil 0-14, Foreglen 0-07

Slaughtneil qualified for a Derry Senior Championship quarter-final meeting with Ballinascreen with a routine victory over a wasteful Forelgen side at Celtic Park on Monday night.

The Ulster champions lead from the start and despite not being at their fluent best, always had enough in reserve to manage the game against an O’Briens team that was full of running but who failed to take their chances at key moments,

Slaughtneil dominated the opening 30 minutes but were forced to be patient in their build up as Foreglen got men behind the ball and looked to hit the defending champions on the break.

Sé McGuigan got the scoreboard working early on and when Padrig Kelly scored a free on three minutes it already looked like Foreglen may have their work cut out. For all the Emmet’s dominance though, Foreglen were guilty of some wayward shooting as Ciaran McFeely sent two straight forward looking frees wide and Liam O’Hara wasted another chance.

That was in contrast to Slaughtneil who were content to hold possession until a clear shooting chance presented itself with Brendan Rogers latching on to a Chrissy McKaigue pass to score his side’s fourth point on 18 minutes.

A wonderful Mark McCormack free eventually got Foreglen on the scoreboard but they were struggling to make an impression with the limited amount of ball Slaughtneil were allowing them.

A superb improvised over the head pass form Ronan Bradley set up Padrig Kelly for his second point of the half on 21 minutes before a fisted effort from Cassidy made it 0-6 to 0-1. Gavin McCormack reduced the deficit with a nice score but Padrig Kelly had the final say of the half from a free to leave Slaughtneil 0-7 to 0-2 ahead at the interval.

Cormac O’Doherty and Marty Farell swapped points on the restart but Slaughtneil remained in control despite a marked improvement from Foreglen.

With Foreglen still guilty of wasting chances, Barry McGuigan took advantage of a superb Cormac O’Doherty lay-off to increase the lead to 0-9 to 0-3 and it was a gap Foreglen never looked like bridging.

A Marty Farrell free left them five behind at 0-9 to 0-4 but Slaughtneil were playing within themselves, content to keep the O’Briens at arm’s length. Jonathan O’Dwyer grabbed a point but as had been the pattern, every time the O’Brien’s scored, Slaughtneil replied in kind.

Se McGuigan and Ronan Bradley increased the Emmet’s tally to 0-11 and despite Liam O’Hara pointing the second half continued to have an inevitable feel about it.

As Slaughtneil rang the changes, substitute Shane McGuigan and Sean Cassidy both got on the score sheet with Foreglen frustrations culminating in a black card for Ruairi Duffy and a late red for midfielder Mark McCormack.

It mattered little to the outcome and the reigning champions can expect a much tougher assignment against ‘Screen in the last eight.

Slaughtneil: Anton McMullan; Francis McEldowney, Brendan Rogers (0-1), Karl McKaigue; Paul McNeil, Chrissy McKaigue, Barry McGuigan (0-1); Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy (0-2); Padrig Kelly, (0-3, 2f), Paul Bradley, Ronan Bradley (0-1); Fergal McEldowney, Se McGuigan (0-2), Cormac O’Doherty (0-1). (Subs) Shane McGuigan (0-2, 1f) for P Kelly, 46mins; Mehaul McGrath for Fergal McEldowney, 46mins; Sean Cassidy (0-1) for P Bradley, 48mins; Conan Cassidy for B McGuigan, 53mins;

Foreglen: Gary McGee; Padriac Morahan, James Francis O’Kane, Ruairi Duffy, John Duffy, OisinDuffy, Liam O’Hara (0-1); Marius O’Doherty, Mark McCormack (0-1, 1f); Eoghan Duffy, Ciaran McFeely, Gavin McCormack (0-1); Eunan McFeely, Jonathan O’Dwyer (0-1), Martin Farrell (0-3, 2f). (Subs) Ruairi McFeely for L O’Hara, 53mins; Patrick Cunningham for R Duffy (Black Card), 57mins.

Referee: Damian Harkin (Slaughtmanus)