Brilliant McGuigan fires Slaughtneil past Glen and into Ballinderry semi-final!

Slaughtneil's Shane McGuigan who hit 0-9 against Glen.Slaughtneil's Shane McGuigan who hit 0-9 against Glen.
Slaughtneil's Shane McGuigan who hit 0-9 against Glen.
O'Neill's Derry Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

Slaughtneil 0-15, Glen 0-12

A Shane McGuigan scoring exhibition put the seal on Slaughtneil's impressive quarter-final victory over Glen to set up a semi-final showdown with old foes, Ballinderry next weekend.

The Emmet's forward hit 0-9, including seven points from play in a superb display against a Glen side who left a surprising amount of room for the dangerous Slaughtneil forward line to operate in. McGuigan's movement was brilliantly complemented by Christopher 'Sammy' Bradley and Brian Cassidy but time and time again Slaughtneil playmakers were afforded time to pick passes and find wide open spaces in front of the likes of Cassidy and Bradley.

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McGuigan was simply impossible to pick up, Glen trying a few different men over the course of the 60 odd minutes but such was the ground the Derry forward covered, both in the opposition half and his own, that his influence could not be curtailed. Indeed the difference between the sides was summed up by the space afforded each forward line, Glen front men like Alex Doherty finding space much harder to come by than their Slaughtneil counterparts.

Yet, the Maghera men were well in the game until Slaughtneil started to pull away in the final quarter with the Emmet's indebted to the positioning of keeper Antoin McMullan who was perfectly situated to superbly save Emmet Bradley's point blank fisted effort with only a minute to play. A goal at that stage would have tied the game but all afternoon the high ball to the edge of the square looked Glen's best goal hope which illustrates they didn't get the likes of Ciaran McFaul or Bradley on the ball enough in the right areas to open Slaughtneil up.

And McMullan dealt expertly with those lofted efforts which came in hope rather than expectation as Glen failed to reproduce last year's brilliant semi-final display.

By contrast the game could have been over at half-time had Slaughtneil taken any one of two or three gilt edged goal chances they fashioned by putting pressure on the glen kick-out in the opening half. Twice Eunan Mulholland was short of help and caught in possession to set Slaughtneil attackers clear only for the final pass to be overcooked and allow Glen to escape. The first incident was saved somewhat with a 'Sammy' Bradley point, the second recused for Glen by a brilliant stop from Connlan Braldey at the feet of Cormac O'Doherty.

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Both sides had a mixed afternoon with their kick-outs which improved as the afternoon wore on, though it took the Glen kick time to settle after those early scares.

Danny Tallon opened the scoring with a first minute free but thereafter there was never more than two between the sides in the first half as Slaughtneil spurned their goal chances. McGuigan and Alex Doherty swapped scores before Christopher Bradley, whose movement caused Glen headaches all afternoon, levelled matters for 0-2 a-piece and the pattern of the half was set.

Glen's best opening came following a flowing move which engineered space for Conor McDevitt to get a sight of goal but, under pressure from two closing Slaughtneil defenders, his shot found only the side netting.

Jack Doherty, Cathal Mulholland, Conor Carville, McFaul and Tallon (2f) were all on target for Glen with Keelan Feeney, Paul McNeil, Brian Cassidy, McGuigan (3) and Bradley replaying as Slaughtneil took a two point lead into half-time at 0-10 to 0-08.

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Glen started the second half superbly, hitting three unanswered points to hit the front for the first time since the opening seconds of the match, Alex Doherty with two lovely scores to tie things up before an Emmet Bradley free left Glen 0-11 to 0-10 up.

Slaughtneil only had one scorer in the second half but when that man is Shane McGuigan, you don't need much else!

McGuigan ensured Glen's lead lasted only the briefest of moments but Slaughtneil saw their third goal chance get away when Padraig Cassidy was set up by Paul McNeil only for Connlan Braldey to make his second superb stop of the game to deny him.

A flowing move involving Brendan Rogers' trademark surge out of defence to free Keelan Feeny who in turn fed McGuigan put Slaughtneil back in front and from there, Slaughtneil used every bit of their experience to manage the remaining minutes.

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And as Glen committed more men forward, the dangerous Slaughtneil forward simply had more room in which to operate and with not enough pressure out the field, there was a steady supply of quality ball to ensure they always had the edge.

The three point lead ensured there was never enough in it to be comfortable with Bradley's fisted effort the one that got away for Glen.

Slaughtneil scorers: Shane McGuigan (0-9, 2f), Christopher Bradley (0-3), Keelan Feeney (0-1), Paul McNeil (0-1), Brian Cassidy (0-1)

Glen scorers: Dannhy Tallon (0-4, 4f), Alex Doherty (0-3), Jack Doherty (0-1), Cathal Mulholland (0-1), Coinor Carville (0-1), Ciaran McFaul (0-1), Emmet Bradley (0-1, 1f)

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Slaughtneil: Aontoin McMullan, Paul McNeil, Brendan Rogers, Conor McAllister, Peadar Kearney, Chrissy McKaigue, Keelan Feeney, Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy, Sean Cassidy, Cormac O'Doherty, Meehaul McGrath, Christopher Bradley, Shane McGuigan, Brian Cassidy. (Subs)Se MCGuigan for B Cassidy, 52mins; Ronan Bradley for S Cassidy, 53mins; Francis McEldowney for C McAllister, 56mins; Paudie McGuigan for C O'Doherty, 62mins.

Glen: Connlan Bradley, Ryan Dougan, Oisin Hegarty, Eunan Mulholland, Ethan Doherty, Conor Carville, Jack Doherty, Conor McDevitt, Ciaran McFaul, Cathal Mulholland, Emmet Bradley, Danny Tallon, Paul Gunning, Alex Doherty, Conleth McGuckin. (Subs) Michael Warnock for E Mulholland, 20mins; Oran McGill for O Hegarty (inj) , HT; Conor Convery for J Doherty (inj), HT; Cahir McCabe for C McDevitt, 48mins; Stevie O'Hara for A Doherty, 52mins.

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Bellaghy)

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