Slaughtneil edge out Omagh in Ulster SFC
Ulster Senior Club Football Championship Quarter-Final
SLAUGHTNEIL 0-10 OMAGH 0-08
By Steven Doherty at Celtic Park
Slaughtneil’s quest for a third provincial title in four years continues after the Derry champions defeated Omagh by two points at Celtic Park.
Christopher Bradley and Shane McGuigan top scored for the winners with four points each in a low-scoring game in wet and windy conditions.
When Meehaul McGrath dinked an effort to the right of the right hand post towards the end of the half, it registered Slaughtneil’s tenth wide of the half – a statistic so untypical of a side famed for their economy rate.
Indeed, despite a ferocious wind at their back the Emmet’s could boast only a one point advantage as they led 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time.
And yet the game started so well for Mickey Moran’s men, who raced to a 0-4 to no score after ten minutes.
A trademark Christopher Bradley outside of the boot effort opened the Derry champions account in the 7th minute, before follow up scores from Padraig Cassidy, Shane McGuigan and a second from Bradley, who weaved in and out of the Omagh defence before deftly tapping over.
But just as the favourites appeared to have found their groove, the Tyrone men battled their way against the elements and into the contest. It took St Enda’s until the 15th minute before they finally opened their account through Connor O’Donnell, but rampaging full-back Hugh Gallagher doubled their score quickly after. Conan McGrugan’s free in the 22nd minute made it a one point game and all to play for.
After any number of misses, ‘Sammy’ Bradley’s free in the 28th minute stretched Slaughtneil’s narrow lead to two, but Ciaran McLaughlin immediately cancelled that score out before Conor Clarke’s point levelled matters at Celtic Park at 0-5 apiece.
But with the half-time whistle imminent, Se McGuigan blasted over his side’s sixth point of the half to edge them ahead by the minimum.
The second half was just as cagey as the first, but it was Slaughtneil who took early control of matters with two Shane McGuigan’s frees to stretch the Emmet’s lead to 0-8 to 0-5. Omagh then responded creditably through Connor O’Donnell and a Ronan O’Neill free.
Sammy Bradley and Joe McMahon exchanged frees which left Slaughtneil 0-9 to 0-8 ahead with time fast running out.
Shane McGuigan nailed the last score of the game in the 52nd minute as the Derry men played a little ‘keep ball’ to see out the remainder of the time.
Scorers for Slaughtneil: Christopher Bradley 0-4 (0-2fs), Shane McGuigan 0-4fs, Padraig Cassidy 0-1, Se McGuigan 0-1
Scorers for Omagh: Connor O’Donnell 0-2, Hugh Gallagher 0-1, Conan Grugan 0-1f, Ciaran McLaughlin 0-1, Conor Clarke 0-1, Ronan O’Neill 0-1f, Joe McMahon 0-1f
SLAUGHTNEIL: *Antoin McMullan, Paul McNeill, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue, Francis McEldowney, Christopher McKaigue, Keelan Feeney, Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy, Shane McGuigan, Paudie McGuigan, Meehaul McGrath, Cormac O’Doherty, Sew McGuigan, Christopher Bradley. *Subs: B McGuigan for C McKaigue (43), R Bradley for P McGuigan (45), B Cassidy for R Bradley (59)
OMAGH: Niall McGinn, Gregory Murray, Hugh Gallagher, Stephen Mullan, Ciaran McLaughlin, Joseph McMahon, Barry Tierney, Conor Clarke, Michael Gallagher, Turlough Gallagher, Conan Grugan, Ronan O’Neill, Cormac O’Neill, Connor O’Donnell, Conor Meyler. Subs: J McAnnulla for T Gallagher (40), Ju McMahon for C Clarke (49)
Ref: Noel Mooney (Cavan)