Slaughtneil survive late scare to beat 13-man Kilcoo
Ulster Club SFC: Kilcoo 0-12 Slaughtneil 1-11
Slaughtneil accused Kilcoo of "intimidation" after winning an ill-tempered Ulster club preliminary round clash in Páirc Esler.
There were three red cards in Newry, two for six-in-a-row Down champions Kilcoo who lost Dylan Ward to a straight red card after just eight minutes.
Eugene Branagan then went in the 41st minute with Paul McNeill dismissed for Slaughtneil before the break.
"We came here to play football and there were a few Kilcoo players maybe thought that they could get us intimidated by some of the things they were at, but it didn't happen," said Slaughtneil assistant manager John Joe Kearney.
Slaughtneil survived a couple of late scares as their bid to win a third Ulster title in four years just about stayed on track.
The woodwork saved the defending champions in this Ulster club preliminary round tie, Slaughtneil goalscorer Patsy Bradley deflecting a Darragh O'Hanlon piledriver on to the post at the death.
The Down champions led by three points early on but then Ward got his marching orders.
Ward kicked four points in a man-of-the-match display in the county final but went for striking off the ball.
Kilcoo boss Paul McIver said they only had themselves to blame for the red cards, admitting: "it was our own silly mistakes and our over-zealous tackling".
Slaughtneil bossed the second quarter and led 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval after hitting five points in a row, Cormac O'Doherty with the pick of them.
The Ulster champions had defender Paul McNeill sent off before half-time but got the match-winning goal after 37 minutes.
Brendan Rogers's attempt at a point dropped short and Patsy Bradley fisted it to the net.
Kilcoo struggled to contain the rampaging runs of Chrissy McKaigue and Rogers.
O'Doherty, one of many dual stars chasing another Ulster club hurling title, also caused a lot of trouble with his movement.
The home side lost their discipline and went down to 13 when Branagan picked up a straight red card with 20 minutes remaining.
Kilcoo were given a lifeline with Conor Laverty was upended in the square by Padraig Cassidy.
Darragh O'Hanlon took the penalty but it was brilliantly deflected away for a '45' by Slaughtneil goalkeeper Anton McMullan.
They were left to rue the red cards, having already been without their Down star Ryan Johnston with a broken foot. "You just have to keep your cool and get on with it," added Kearney.
"It worked out for us in the end although it was getting scary at the finish, but we are there.
"It doesn't matter if you win by a point, two points or 20 points, it's a win."
Slaughtneil survived a couple of goal-mouth scrambles and hung on to set up a mouth-watering first-round clash against Tyrone champions Omagh St Enda's.
Kilcoo: P Devlin 0-5 (2f, 1 '45'), D O'Hanlon 0-4 (4f), C O'Doherty, M Devlin, JJ McLaughlin 0-1 each.
Slaughtneil: Shane McGuigan 0-4 (4f), P Bradley 1-0, C Bradley 0-2 (2f), B Rogers, P Cassidy, M McGrath, C O'Doherty, Se McGuigan 0-1 each.
Kilcoo - S Kane; N Branagan, D O'Hanlon, N McEvoy; E Branagan, A Branagan, D Branagan; A Morgan, F McGreevy; D Ward, P Devlin , C O'Doherty; J Johnston, J McClean, C Laverty. Subs: M Devlin for McEvoy (28), JJ McLaughlin for McGreevy (42), D Kane for Johnston (56).
Slaughtneil - A McMullan; P McNeill, B Rogers, K McKaigue; F McEldowney, C McKaigue, K Feeney; P Bradley, P Cassidy; Shane McGuigan, R Bradley, M McGrath; C O'Doherty, Se McGuigan, C Bradley. Subs: B Cassidy for O'Doherty (51), G Bradley for McGrath (54).
Referee - Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).