Slaughtneil 2-09, Ballinderry 0-09
Reigning champions Slaughtneil will take on Loup in the Derry Senior County Final and goals in each half from Shane and Se McGuigan secured a six point win over Ballinderry in front of 5,465 at Owenbeg on Sunday.
The result meant a first ever Championship defeat as Ballinderry manager for Martin McKinless and leaves Slaughtneil looking at the prospects of a ‘double treble’ having won the football, hurling and camogie titles last season. They have already claimed the 2016 hurling and camogie titles and will be strong favourites to complete a second clean sweep.
The Emmet’s didn’t have things all their own way though in a first half that they looked to be cruising though after the established a 1-02 to no score lead. In those early stages McKinless’ Shamrocks were sitting uncharacteristically deep and inviting pressure but that changed midway through the half, as two Raymond Wilkinson points helped close the deficit to 1-6 to 0-5.
Christopher ‘Sammy’ Bradley was causing all sorts of problems though for the Shamrocks having registered Slaughtneil’s first three points. It was the goals though that were the critical scores.
The Emmet’s first came courtesy of a brilliant Paul Bradley ball which dissected the Ballinderry defence to pick out Chrissy McKaigue’s clever run in the 10th minute. McKaigue got his head up and picked out Shane McGuigan square of him, the forward’s shot having just enough power to creep inn under the despairing dive of Gareth McKinless.
Ballinderry did work some excellent openings for goals but too often took the wrong option and delayed shooting. Wilkinson had probably thier best goal chance with a shot that ended as one of his two points but more damaging was some poor first half wides.
The early loss of Enda Muldoon hadn’t helped the Ballinderry cause but Slaughtneil deserved their interval lead.
Ballinderry’s enjoyed the better of the early second half exchanges and and looked to getting to grips with the Slaughtneil game-plan when they brought it back to a single point game at 1-07 to 0-09 but a black card for substitute James Conway for hauling down patsy Bradley disrupted their momentum.
Levelluing the match would have been a huge psychological boosts for Ballinderry but that equaliser never arrived. Instead, with Conway replaced by Dermot McGuckin, Slaughtneil showed all their experience as Chrissy McKaigue picked out Cormac O’Doherty to put two between the teams.
Within seconds it was a five point lead as O’Doherty brilliantly turned Eamonn Wilson in the right corer before picking out the unmarked Se McGuigan who drilled a lovely low finish into the corner of Glenn McOscar.
With Shane McGuigan tagging on a free, the game was as good as over as a contest although there was still time for Ballinderry’s Darren Lawn to be sent off on a straight red card.
Ballinderry Shamrocks: Glenn McOscar, Eamonn Wilson, Gareth McKinless, Declan Bell, Kevin McGuckin, Ryan Scott, Raymond Wilson, Enda Muldoon, Ryan Bell, Michael McIver, Darren Lawn, Conor Nevin; Raymond Wilkinson (0-2), Daniel McKinless (0-1), Conleith Gilligan (0-3, 3f). (Subs) Lee Martin (0-2) for D Bell, 18mins; Colin Devlin (0-1, 1f) for E Muldoon, 24mins; James Conway for R Wilson, 36mins; James Bateson for D McKinless, 41mins;
Black Card: James Conway, 46mins (Replace by Dermot McGuckin).
Slaughtneil: Anton McMullan; Franicis McEldowney, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue; Paul McNeill, Chrissy McKaigue, Keelan Feeny; Patsy Bradley, Padrig Cassidy; Ronan Bradley, Paul Bradley, Meehaul McGrath; Christopher Bradley (0-4, 1f), Shane McGuigan (1-3, 2f), Cormac O’Doherty (0-2). (Subs) Se McGuigan (1-0) for R Bradley, 40mins; Padraig Kelly for C O’Doherty, 62mins;
Referee: Dan Mullan