Thursday 20 September 2018

Slaughtneil claim Ulster hurling double

Ulster club SHC: Slaughtneil 2-21 Ballygalget 1-12

Manager Michael McShane and selector Joe McCluskey celebrate Slaughtneil’s win. Photo: Sportsfile
Manager Michael McShane and selector Joe McCluskey celebrate Slaughtneil’s win. Photo: Sportsfile

Orla Banon

Slaughtneil shrugged off the exertions of chasing history in both codes and upped the intensity levels in the second half to comfortably retain their Ulster senior hurling crown.

Cormac O'Doherty top-scored with 1-10 for the over-worked Derry outfit, who next face Omagh St Enda's in a football quarter-final on Saturday night.

Slaughtneil's Gerard Bradley is tackled by Ballygalget's Caolan Bailie. Photo: Sportsfile
Slaughtneil's Gerard Bradley is tackled by Ballygalget's Caolan Bailie. Photo: Sportsfile

"We felt last year we didn't get the respect we felt we deserved, people said that we had caught Loughgiel on the hop," said O'Doherty.

"But I think we've proved this year we're a good hurling team and we're here to stay hopefully."

Down champions Ballygalget, chasing a first provincial title since 2005, finished with 14 players yet stayed in the game admirably and there was only a goal between the sides eight minutes after the interval.

But every time they threatened to get close, Slaughtneil responded instantly to reassert their dominance.

Ballygalget's Ben Toner and Slaughtneil's Brendan Rogers battle for possession. Photo: Sportsfile
Ballygalget's Ben Toner and Slaughtneil's Brendan Rogers battle for possession. Photo: Sportsfile

Fatigue should have been a factor on what was the club's seventh championship game in nine weeks but if anything they grew stronger as it progressed.

Ballygalget's Mark Fisher was sent off after 53 minutes, picking up a second yellow card for pulling down Gerard Bradley in the square. O'Doherty drilled the penalty home and the floodgates opened.

The sides were level three times in the opening 12 minutes, Ballygalget certainly the better side early on, but Slaughtneil possessed the greater goal threat, forcing two saves from 'keeper Jamie Crowe.

Sean Cassidy struck the opening goal in the 13th minute. Full-forward Brendan Rogers won a high ball and turned with Cassidy running off his shoulder and finishing the move.

Brian Cassidy and Karl McKaigue added fine scores with O'Doherty unerring in his dead ball prowess. Gareth 'Magic' Johnston's frees kept Ballygalet competitive, trailing by 1-7 to 0-6 at the break.

Slaughtneil got their scores easier with Brendan Rogers and Brian Cassidy nailing 0-5 between them in the second half.

Caolan Bailie netted a consolation goal for Ballygalget in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Scorers: Slaughtneil - C O'Doherty 1-10 (7f, 3 '65's, one pen), B Cassidy 0-4, K McKaigue 0-3, S Cassidy 1-0, B Rogers 0-2, C McAllister, G Bradley 0-1 each. Ballygalget - G Johnston 0-8 (7f), C Bailie 1-0, D Toner, M Fisher 0-2 each.

Slaughtneil - O O'Doherty; K McKaigue, Shane McGuigan, P McNeill; M McGrath, C McKenna, C McAllister; G Bradley, C McKaigue; Mark McGuigan, C O'Doherty, S Cassidy; Se McGuigan, B Rogers, Brian Cassidy. Subs: G O'Kane for S Cassidy (42), B Og Corbett for McAllister (60).

Ballygalget - J Crowe; B Byers (J Smyth 60), E Clarke, J McManus; E Coulter, B Toner, Peter McManus; C Bailie, J Doran (Paul McManus 60); G Roddy, D McManus, M Fisher; C Coulter (C Doran 60), G Johnston, D Toner. Subs: J Smyth for Byers (60), Paul McManus for Doran (60), C Doran for C Coulter (60).

Ref - Colum Cunning (Antrim).

Irish Independent

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