Tense derby at O’Cahan Park

When it comes to Championship Football local derby games take on a life of their own and this one is, and has been for years, one of the most intense rivalries in the county.

When they met in the league Slaughtmanus were flying, their form in the ascendency, and they dismantled their parish neighbours by 11 points.

But that drubbing would count for nothing once they took the field at sun-drenched O’Cahan Park in Dungiven last Sunday afternoon.

Slaughtmanus got off to a dream start against their parish neighbours, indiscipline handing Gavan McShane an easy point from a free after a late tackle on McShane advanced the ball to the 13 metre line.

It would get even better a couple of minutes later and again it was gift wrapped, although it took Cahir Cooke to be in the right place and alert.

Faughanvale conceded a couple of frees, Gavan McShane twice taking the easy placed balls before Ryan Barr launched the ball to the goalmouth.

Midfielder Ryan King tried to field the dropping ball but seemed to misjudge the flight and palmed straight to the lurking Cahir Cooke and he made no mistake from the edge of the small square.

Slaughtmanus did put the ball in the net for the goal that would separate the sides at the end, and this early cushion proved crucial.

The Faughanvale starting front six scored one point from play in the entire game, Stephen King the scorer after five minutes!

Joe Gray pointed a free midway through the half but Slaughtmanus responded, through Kevin King and then Gavan McShane from play when Mark McLaughlin had narrowed the gap to two points. Ryan Barr and Joe Gray scored ‘45’ metre frees to close the half at 1-04 to 0-04 in favour of Slaughtmanus.

By the midpoint of the half there was two points between the sides when Joe Gray pointed a free for 1-06 to 0-07. Odhran McKinney then scored a 58th minute point to leave two between the sides in the end.