Tuesday 6 December 2016

Slaughtneil end Ulster drought with gutsy victory

Slaughtneil 2-14 Loughgiel 1-13

Published 24/10/2016 | 02:30

Slaughtneil Emmetts captain Chris McKaigue celebrates with the cup Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick / Sportsfile
Slaughtneil Emmetts captain Chris McKaigue celebrates with the cup Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick / Sportsfile

Slaughtneil became the first Derry club to win the Four Seasons Cup after a hard-fought victory against Antrim champions Loughgiel.

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They started with real intent and more than matched their more illustrious opponents for heart, work-rate and desire.

Loughgiel's Tiernan Coyle in action against Se McGuigan of Slaughtneil Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Loughgiel's Tiernan Coyle in action against Se McGuigan of Slaughtneil Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

They were helped on their way by early first-half goals from Cormac O'Doherty and Brendan Rodgers.

The scoreline at half-time read 2-8 to 0-7, three Maol Connolly frees keeping Loughgiel in with a shout.

Then in the second period, Loughgiel sub Joey Scullion raised a gallop towards Oisin O'Doherty's goal and never stopped until the ball rested in the net, leaving them a mere five points adrift.

But if they needed inspiration from their former generals, it wasn't forthcoming.

Loughgiel's Eddie McCloskey and Slaughtneil's Chris McKaigue battle for control of the sliotar Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Loughgiel's Eddie McCloskey and Slaughtneil's Chris McKaigue battle for control of the sliotar Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Slaughtneil held out. Comfortably, bravely, assuredly.

They now go on to meet the Leinster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final in February.

And who would bet against them making it to another All-Ireland final, only in another code?

SCORERS - Slaughtneil: C O'Doherty 1-9 (8f); C McKaigue 0-3; B Rodgers 1-0; Sé McGuigan 0-2.

Loughgiel: M Connolly 0-5f; J Scullion 1-0; M McFadden 0-2; B McAuley 0-2 (1 '65); E McCloskey, D McKinley, B McCarry, L Watson 0-1 each.

SLAUGHTNEIL - O O'Doherty; R McCartney, S Cassidy, P McNeill; M McGrath, K McKaigue, Shane McGuigan; E Cassidy, C McKaigue; G Bradley, C O'Doherty, C McKenna; B Rodgers, Sé McGuigan, M McGuigan. Subs: B Cassidy for McKenna (41-51, blood sub), C McAllister for McCartney (46), B Cassidy for E Cassidy (55), G O'Kane for McKenna (62).

LOUGHGIEL - DD Quinn; P Gillan, N McGarry, R McCloskey; J Campbell, T McCloskey, T Coyle; M McFadden, D McMullan; M Connolly, E McCloskey, D McKinley; B McCarry, L Watson, S Casey. Subs: J Scullion for McCloskey (22), O McFadden for Watson (44), B McAuley for Connolly (54).

REF - James Clarke (Cavan)

Irish Independent

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