Leadon Timberframe Derry Senior Hurling Championship final
Slaughtneil 2-12, Banagher 0-10
Slaughtneil hurlers will turn their gaze to defending their Ulster title after claiming a sixth successive Fr. Collins Cup in front of 2,542 spectators at Owenbeg on Sunday.
The Derry champions were never at their best in a scrappy game but goals in each half from Cormac O'Doherty and substitute Brain Cassidy mean't they were never unduly threatened by a Banagher side who lacked the scoring potential to trouble them despite a spirited display.
An injury to O'Doherty, who appeared to turn his ankle on the Owenbeg pitch, was the only sour note on a day that Brendan Rodgers also returned to action, scoring a second half point after being introduced for Liam Cassidy
A disjointed, scrappy first half began with O'Doherty's long range free being helped into his own net by Banagher's Brian Og McGilligan on two minutes to give his side a two point lead and that was as close as the underdogs ever got.
Tiernan McCloskey, who top scored with 0-7 from frees, had opened the scoring for Banagher inside the first minute but it would be a further 22 minutes before the St. Mary's scored again when McGilligan brought it back to 1-04 to 0-2.
However, a late rally that saw points for Tiernan McCloskey (2) and Darragh Cartin ensured Banagher were still within touching distance at 1-06 to 0-05 at half-time but Slaughtneil's extra class told after the break.
With O'Doherty injured, Brian Cassidy was introduced during the break and it was his goal, tapping home with 10 minutes left after Meehaul McGrath's shot had been saved by Daryl McDermott, that made the game safe.
That goal made it 2-12 to 0-8 after Cassidy, Chrissy McKaigue, Rodgers, Mark McGuigan and Se McGuigan had all pointed and from there, it was only a question of the margin of victory as Slaughtneil's gaze turns to a meeting with Down champions Ballycran.
Banagher scorers: Tiernan McCloskey (0-7, 7f), Brian Og McGilligan (0-1), Daragh Cartin (0-1), Jonathan O'Dwyer (0-1)
Slaughtneil scorers: Brian Cassidy (1-2, 1f), Cormac O'Doherty (1-2, 2f), Gerald Bradley( 0-1), Sean Cassidy (0-1), Se McGuigan (0-2), Shane McGuigan (0-1), Christoher McKagiue (0-1), Mark McGuigan (0-1), Brendan Rogers (0-1)
Banagher: Daryl McDermot: Gabriel Farran, Ruairi McCloskey, Shane Murphy; Darragh McCloskey, Mark Lynch, Niall Farran; Brian Og McGilligan, Sean McCullagh; Jack Phelan, Ciaran Lynch, Darragh Cartin; Tiernan McCloskey, Jonathan O'Dwyer, Shane Farren.
(Subs) Pauric McCloskey for Ciaran Lynch, 42mins;
Slaughtneil: Gareth O'Kane; Paul McNeil, Sean Cassidy, Paedar Kearney; Ruairi McCartney, Shane McGuigan, Conor McAllister; Gerald Bradley, Sean Cassidy; Christopher McKaigue, Meehaul McGrath, Mark McGuigan; Cormac O'Doherty, Se McGuigan, Liam Cassidy.
(Subs) Brian Cassidy for , HT; Brendan Rogers for L Cassidy, 34mins; Cormac McKenna for S Cassidy, 47mins; Eanna Cassidy for Gerald Bradley (blood sub), 53mins - reversed 57mins; Pronsias Burke for Se McGuigan, 57mins; Eanna Cassidy for Shane McGuigan, 57mins
Referee: Paddy McEldowney (Ballinascreen)