Slaughtneil claimed a historic tenth successive Derry senior hurling title in Sunday’s Leadon Timberframe SHC Final at Owenbeg, where they overcame Kevin Lynch’s.
Slaughtneil 2-18 Kevin Lynch’s 1-8
By Declan Bogue at Owenbeg (courtesy of GAA.ie)
That most title-hungry of clubs, Slaughtneil, went ten in a row in the Derry senior hurling Championship with a second half blitzing of Kevin Lynch’s, outscoring them 2-13 to 1-2 after the break.
Two of their starting team here, Chrissy McKaigue and Sé McGuigan, have been involved in every one of them. McKaigue, not known to get over-excited at the best of times, looked fairly cool about the achievement afterwards, chatting among supporters while captain, Cormac O’Doherty made his speech.
For a club like Lynch’s, this one will sting. This is the fourth consecutive loss they have experienced in the final and they appeared to throw a great deal at this in the early stages.
Going in at half-time, despite having lost their best man-marking defender Paddy Kelly to injury after seven minutes, Lynch’s aggression was working as they were a point up through magnificent scores from Conor Kelly and a defined gameplan aimed at clogging up the Slaughtneil attack.
Deprived of space, Slaughtneil were forced to shot from outside the range, and it told with 13 wides in the opening half.
But they always had Brendan Rogers in reserve and when he was introduced at half time he caused total panic in the Lynch’s backline that allowed others – most notably football All-Star nominee Shane McGuigan – to flourish.
McGuigan opened the scoring on 16 seconds of the first half and they were already three points clear when a mix up in the Lynch’s rearguard allowed Jerome McGuigan to pull on it along the ground to find the net.
Thereafter it became a procession. Lynch’s fire was extinguished and with the athletic Thomas Brady badly hampered with a hamstring injury, they couldn’t keep up with the pace.
Captain Cormac O’Doherty began a wonderful move that went the full length of the pitch and Peter McCullagh played in fellow sub Rogers to get behind the cover and rattle the net past goalkeeper Liam Óg Hinphey on the hour.
Odhran McKeever, son of former Derry corner-back Kieran, grabbed a late consolation goal back for Lynch’s.
In the likes of Ruairí Ó Mainain and Peter McCullagh, Slaughtneil have a better depth of panel than in previous years.
The Derry champions now go on the face whoever emerges from Down in the Ulster semi-final. The Antrim champions have a bye straight through to the Ulster final.
Scorers for Slaughtneil: C O’Doherty (0-6, 5 frees, 1x ‘65’), Shane McGuigan (0-4), J McGuigan (1-1), B Rogers (1-1), S Cassidy, P McCullagh (0-2 each), R Ó Mianáin, K McKaigue (0-1 each)
Scorers for Kevin Lynch’s: O McKeever (1-1), R Mullan (0-3f), C Kelly (0-2), N Ferris, R Mullan (0-1 each)
SLAUGHTNEIL: O O’Doherty; P McNeill, C McAllister, K McKaigue; R O’Mianáin, C McKaigue, M McGrath; C O’Doherty, Shane McGuigan; M McGuigan, G Bradley, B Cassidy; J McGuigan, Sé McGuigan, S Cassidy.
Subs: B Rogers for M McGuigan, P McCullagh for Sé McGuigan (both HT), J Cassidy for G Bradley (49m), E Cassidy for B Cassidy (59m).
DUNGIVEN: L Óg Hinphey; P Kelly, M Craig, N McNicholl; N Ferris, R Mullan, T McHugh; T Brady, D Mullan; E Cassidy, J Mullan, S Kelly; O McKeever, C Kelly, D McGilligan.
Subs: R Mullan for P Kelly (8m), C O’Reilly for D McGilligan (40m), C McKelvey for T McHugh (45m), P McNicholl for D Mullan (48m), T McHugh for T Brady (52m), T Brady for T McHugh (56m).
Referee: Tarlach Conway (Ballinascreen).
Junior Hurling Final
In Sunday’s curtain-raiser at Owenbeg, Lavey defeated Na Magha on a scoreline of 2-23 t0 0-13.
Lavey captain Shane McGill received the trophy from Kieran Leadon of competition sponsors Leadon Timberframe, alongside Derry GAA Chairperson John Keenan.