Saturday 24 March 2018

Slaughtneil secure back-to-back titles

Slaughtneil 1-7 Coleraine 0-9

The Slaughtneil players celebrate with the John McLaughlin cup after winning the Derry SFC final
The Slaughtneil players celebrate with the John McLaughlin cup after winning the Derry SFC final
Gavin McWilliams, Coleraine, in action against Karl McKaigue, Slaughtneil
Francis McEldowney, Slaughtneil, in action against Ciaran McGoldrick, Coleraine
Ciaran Lagan, Coleraine, in action against Cormac O'Doherty, Slaughtneil

Derry SFC final

Slaughtneil created another piece of history by adding the Derry football title to their senior hurling and camogie titles with a narrowly deserved win over Coleraine.

Having seen their camogs claim silverware earlier in the day, the Emmets held off a brave Coleraine fightback to secure back-to-back football titles for the first time in their history.

They deserved it on the basis of the whole hour, but Coleraine will no doubt regret not having come out of their defensive shell a bit sooner.

The holders went in at the end of a very defensive first half with a 0-4 to 0-3 lead. Despite the blazing sunshine, it was an error-ridden opening 30 minutes played in front of a disappointing crowd of just 2,561.

"It wasn't a pretty first half but it was never going to be," admitted Slaughtneil assistant John Joe Kearney.

"But we got over the line. Sé's goal was a massive score, we were going to need that to win the game."

Mickey Moran's side had the half's one real goal chance when Francis McEldowney found himself in, but his effort crashed back of the angle of crossbar and post.

The victors had led by 0-3 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter, with Ronan Bradley notching their one score from play, to which man-of-the-match Paul Bradley and Padraig Kelly added frees.

Barry McGoldrick (free) and Gavin McWilliams brought Coleraine level with a quick burst but another Paul Bradley free proved the half's final score in the 21st minute.

There was little in the way of excitement in that opening period and nothing much changed until Sé McGuigan rose to fist home a dropping Paul Bradley free on 40 minutes and give Slaughtneil a 1-5 to 0-3 lead.

But the last 20 minutes were by far the best as Coleraine came out of their defensive cocoon.

Barry McGuigan came across in time to force Ciaran Lenehan to shoot over from ten yards.

It was one of a run of scores that saw the underdogs hit six of the game's last seven points.

Scorers - Slaughtneil: Paul Bradley 0-4 (3f); Sé ­McGuigan 1-0; R Bradley, C Bradley, P Kelly (f) 0-1 each. ­Coleraine: Colm McGoldrick 0-3 (2f); SL McGoldrick, C ­Lenehan, S Coyles, B McGoldrick (f), G McWilliams, C Carey 0-1 each.

SLAUGHTNEIL: A McMullan; Francis McEldowney, B ­Rogers, K McKaigue; P McNeill, C McKaigue, B McGuigan; Patsy Bradley, P Cassidy; P Kelly, Paul Bradley, R Bradley; C Bradley, Sé McGuigan, C O'Doherty. Subs: Shane McGuigan for O'Doherty (45), M McGrath for P Kelly (52).

COLERAINE: - R McGeough; C Mullan, L McGoldrick, C Lagan; R Mooney, SL McGoldrick, R Carey; N Holly, B ­McGoldrick; C Lenehan, D Mullan, S Coyles; Ciaran ­McGoldrick, Colm McGoldrick, G McWilliams. Subs: C Carey for Ciaran McGoldrick (39), J Diamond for Lagan (black card, 56), S Heneghan for S Coyles (59).

Ref: D O'Neill (Glenullin).

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