Wednesday 18 October 2017

Slaughtneil count injury cost of victory

Kieran Donaghy, Austin Stacks, is tackled by Chrissy McKaigue, Slaughtneil
Kieran Donaghy, Austin Stacks, is tackled by Chrissy McKaigue, Slaughtneil
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Slaughtneil's one-point victory over Austin Stacks may have catapulted them into their first AIB All-Ireland club final but it has come at a heavy cost.

Their playmaker Christopher 'Sammy' Bradley looks set to miss the biggest day in the Derry club's history after X-rays confirmed he has a broken collarbone.

The nippy centre-forward suffered the injury when he was on the end of a thunderous shoulder from Kieran Donaghy in the late stages.

Television replays showed that Donaghy's tackle was shoulder-to-shoulder and perfectly legitimate, and it appears that the break occurred on his other shoulder when he hit the ground.

"It is a clean break which should help it heal quicker and we will get him every treatment we can to try to speed it up but it is a long shot," said Slaughtneil's assistant boss John Joe Kearney of Bradley's chances of playing any part in the final against Corofin on March 17.

Stacks got a free at the end of the same incident which gave them a chance to equalise and possibly take the game into extra-time but their free drifted wide.

Slaughtneil have only two current Derry seniors in their ranks - Patsy Bradley and Chrissy McKaigue - but Christopher Bradley's skill and work-rate had put him in line for a county call-up.

Slaughtneil, who won the county hurling and football titles this year, are a tiny rural club.

There is no shop or pub in the townland, but many of their players have honed their skills in Ulster's strong schools nursery.

Cormac O'Doherty (18), who scored the winning point, was an All-Ireland schools winner with St Patrick's Maghera and is also a talented hurler.

Young defender Brendan Rodgers, who marked Donaghy, is a Derry senior hurler.

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