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O'Doherty fires Slaughtneil to seventh heaven

Slaughtneil 1-23 Kevin Lynch's 2-12

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Slaughtneil's Cormac O'Doherty. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Slaughtneil's Cormac O'Doherty. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Slaughtneil's Cormac O'Doherty. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Slaughtneil overcame a resurgent Kevin Lynch's side to claim a record-breaking seventh title in a row.

Cormac O'Doherty top-scored for the champions, hitting 16 points as he kept the scoreboard ticking over while the Lynch's took the initiative.

The Emmets took an early 0-6 to 0-2 lead with four scores in as many minutes from O'Doherty.

Fortune favours the brave and this was exactly the mantra that brought the Dungiven men back into the game.

Mark Craig's effort from long range was spilled into the net by Morgan McEldowney to level the sides, 1-7 to 0-10, at the break.

Whatever Geoffrey McGonigle said at half-time, it worked as Kevin Lynch's hit the net with the first play on the restart.

Craig gathered the throw-in before dispatching it long into Tiernan McHugh who raced clear before blasting his side into the lead.

Free-taking exhibitions were the subplot as Corey O'Reilly and Richie Mullan extended the lead while O'Doherty hit his 13th score of the game to level once again.

Brian Cassidy put the seven-in-a-row chasers one up before Brendan Rogers burned Conor Kelly before cutting in and firing into the bottom corner of the net.

It left four points between the sides with ten minutes to go before Rogers and Karl McKaigue added further insurance scores.

In the end, the six points flattered Slaughtneil who have made further history and now advance to meet the Armagh kingpins, Middleton in the last four of the Ulster SHC.

SCORERS - Slaughtneil: C O'Doherty 0-16; B Rogers 1-2, B Cassidy, J McGuigan 0-2 each; K McKaigue 0-1. Kevin Lynch's: C O'Reilly 0-6 (4f); M Craig 1-1; T McHugh 1-0; R Mullan 0-3 (3f); N Ferris, O McKeever 0-1 each.

Slaughtneil - M McEldowney; K McKaigue, S Cassidy, M McEldowney; Shane McGuigan, S Ó Caiside, M McGrath; B Cassidy, C McKaigue; M McGuigan, C O'Doherty, G Bradley; Sé McGuigan, J McGuigan, B Rogers. Subs: C McAlister for J McGuigan (53), P Kearney for M McEldowney (57).

Kevin Lynch's: B Lagan; N Smyth, P Kelly, C Kelly; J Mullan, M Craig, L Óg Hinphey; E Cassidy, T Brady; K Hinphey, N Ferris, C O'Reilly; O McKeever, T McHugh, R Mullan. Subs: S Kelly for K Hinphey (22), P O'Kane for O McKeever (46)

Ref - T Conway (Ballinascreen).

Irish Independent