AIB Ulster Club Football Championship Preliminary Round
Slaughtneil (Derry) 4-13, Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh) 1-04
Derry and Ulster champions Slaughtneil set up a quarter final clash with former Monaghan ‘greats’ Scotstown after a commanding 18 point win over a mostly outclassed Fermanagh fifteen.
The visitors to Owenbeg, who shot seven first half wides with their inter-county midfielder and captain Ryan Jones the main culprit, were caught cold when inside a minute when Cormac O’Doherty took a pass from Sé McGuigan and blasted the ball to the net inside a minute.
Indeed the dual star could have had a second but the ball rebounded of the woodwork! Then he turned provider in the 7th minute for Christopher Bradley who slammed the ball to the net for the second goal.
With Patsy Bradley and Padraig Cassidy on top at midfield and Ronan Bradley linking play from deep Slaughtneil were very much on top but they were caught napping in the 11th minute when Paul Ward fired the ball to the net from a 13 metre free for 2-01 to 1-00.
Slaughtneil then put together nineteen passes before Chrissy McKaigue scored a fantastic point .
Leigh Jones from a free and Declan Cassidy had a point each either side of one from Christopher Bradley, the latter then pointing a free in the 27th minute.
Paul Ward pulled back a point but right on the stroke of half time Sé McGuigan released Cormac O’Doherty and he picked out the unmarked ‘Sammy’ Bradley who cracked home goal number three for 3-03 to 1-03 at half time.
The Derry manager reflected, “It ran out at the end a very comfortable victory but early in the game we found it tough enough but in the second half we pulled away.
“I suppose the goals made the difference. It was a good enough game of football.”
In the first half the Fermanagh champions shot seven wides Derrygonnelly midfielder Ryan Jones off target three times from general play and once from a free, Slaughtneil with one wide, John Joe Kearney commenting, “It could have been closer but they sent a few shots wide.
“They were keyed in for the goal they got in the 8th minute our boys were sleeping and that brought them right back into the game at 2-00 to 1-00. And it was 2-03 to 1-03 coming up to half time but we got the third goal just before half time and that left us up by six and that left us comfortable.
“They played pretty hard for long periods but we had that little bit of experience and that helped us to win the game.”
In the second half Slaughtneil scored some outstanding points, the effort from Barry McGuigan just after half time prompting one journalist to comment with a smile, “Maybe that will be the knockout blow!”
Not even the loss of the industrious Ronan Bradley to a ‘black card’ troubled Slaughtneil, a Paul Bradley pointed free, a sumptuous effort from Padrig Kelly and an exquisite point from Christopher Bradley enthusing the 2045 attendance.
In the 47th minute Cormac O’Doherty had the fans in raptures with a 50 metre effort , corner back Karl McKaigue driving forward to slam home the fourth goal seven minutes from time for 4-08 to 1-04.
However the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Patsy Bradley when he dissected the posts in the 56th minute with a wondrous kick, Sé McGuigan, Paul Bradley, Cormac O’Doherty and Paul Bradley from a free, ending the Slaughtneil scoring spree.
And so the remarkable run of successes of the Emmet’s continues as John Joe Kearney outlined, “It is a remarkable run that we are on and we added the minor championship to it yesterday with a comfortable win over Glen who were going for five in a row and have been ruling the roost for the past few years.
“Slaughtneil had been the team that was there or thereabouts with them, so it was great to get one over them yesterday, great for those involved with the minors who have had to endure defeat these past few years.”
With the Slaughtneil hurlers in the Ulster final next Sunday training has been problematic for the footballers, Kearney explaining, “The footballers had just got together on Wednesday night when we did a bit of light work and some shooting practice on Friday night and that was basically it.”The hurlers will not be involved this Wednesday night as they are involved next weekend but there will still be a group of players who will come together, about a couple of dozen and that will make training interesting enough.”
On being told that it would be Monaghan champions Scotstown who would be their quarter final opponents he remarked, “That will be a tough game. We did not have anybody watching them but they are Monaghan champions will not be soft..So we will just have to work with it as best we can and see how we go. “
Slaughtneil scorers: Christopher Bradley 2-02, 0-01 free, Cormac O’Doherty 1-02, Paul Bradley 0-03, 0-02 frees, Christopher McKaigue, Barry McGuigan, Padrig Kelly, Patsy Bradley and Sé McGuigan 0-01 each
Derrygonnelly scorers: Paul Ward 1-01, 1-00 free, Leigh Jones 0-02 frees and Declan Cassidy 0-01
Slaughtneil: Anton McMullan; Francis McEldowney, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue; Paul McNeill, , Chrissy McKaigue, Barry McGuigan; Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy, Padrig Kelly, Paul Bradley, Ronan Bradley; Christopher Bradley, Sé McGuigan, , Cormac O’Doherty
(Subs) Sean Cassidy for Ronan Bradley Black Card 36 mins; Conan Cassidy for Barry McGuigan 50 mins; Fergal McEldowney for Padrig Kelly 50 mins; Peadar Kearney for Francis McEldowney 50 mins
Dermot Feely; Michael Jones, Tiarnan Daly, Eamon McHugh; Denis Greene, Stephen Burns, Garvan McGinley; Shane McGullion, Ryan Jones: Declan Cassidy, Paul Ward, Garvan Jones; Leigh Jones, Stephen McGullion, Conal Jones.
(Subs) Gary McKenna for Shane McGullion 40 mins; Maurice Cassidy for Garvan Jones 51 mins; Jonathan McGurn for Stephen McGullion 52 mins; Niall Gilleece for Leigh Jones 57 mins
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)