Ballinderry demolish Glenullin's challenge
It had been billed as a shoot-out between two of Derry's premier clubs but last night the Ballinderry versus Glenullin confrontation proved embarrassingly one-sided.
And as title-holders Ballinderry swept to a convincing 3-13 to 0-7 victory with goals from Ryan Bell, Conleith Gilligan and Daniel McKinless highlighting their efficiency, there was nothing but gloom and doom for Glenullin with Paddy Bradley limping out of the action and his brother Eoin picking up a red card.
Ballinderry's lop-sided victory has certainly served to thrust them into pole position for yet another title.
The talented Cailean O'Boyle may have been a conspicuous absentee from the Derry side this year but he is on fire with Lavey.
His goal and six points proved decisive in their 2-8 to 0-11 win over Banagher with Paul Hearty grabbing the other goal while Dungiven eased to a comfortable 1-13 to 1-7 win over Loup.
Patsy Bradley and Chrissy McKaigue helped underpin Slaughtneil's 2-8 to 0-7 win over Bellaghy and Eoghan Rua Coleraine beat Ballinascreen by 1-8 to 0-7.
And Swatragh too showed that they mean business by accounting for Craigbane by 0-13 to 0-7.
Meanwhile, Kilcoo have left no one in any doubt about their determination to remain as Down kingpins following their trouncing of hapless Loughinisland.
Kilcoo, with county aces Paul Devlin and Conor Lavery pulling the strings, won by a whopping 4-17 to 1-7 with Devlin, Jerome Johnston, Darryl Brannigan and Gary McEvoy their goal scorers.
Clonduff, too, look sharp and Tony McGreevey, Conor Og O'Hagan, Darren O'Hagan and Aidan Carr were very much in the vanguard of a fine 2-10 to 0-7 win over Annaclone.
In a thrilling tie, Downpatrick and Longstone finished all-square. The Turley brothers Peter and Damien were prominent as Downpatrick totted up 0-18 while Mark Poland orchestrated Longstone's strategy as they scored 2-12.
Chris Snow is familiar in his role as Fermanagh goalkeeper but last night his heroics at full-back, which included a point from a penalty helped as Ederney booked their place in the Erne county semi-finals against Roslea by beating Tempo by 1-13 to 3-6.
Belcoo were given a scare before getting the better of Erne Gaels in the Fermanagh championship by 2-14 to 1-6 to clinch their 'semi' spot against Derrygonnelly.
Monaghan stars Dessie Mone, Vinny Corey and Conor McManus made their presence felt when Clontibret overcame Castleblayney by 1-12 to 0-11 in the domestic championship while Ballybay pipped Latton 1-8 to 0-9.
The Hughes brothers Darren and Kieran experienced contrasting fortunes in Scotstown's 0-12 to 1-5 win over Magheracloone.
While Kieran helped himself to a brace of points, Darren was forced to limp out of the action after 20 minutes. Monaghan Harps meanwhile, looked comfortable in accounting for Doohamlet by 0-14 to 0-4.
Gowna certainly laid down a marker in the Cavan championship when they beat Kingscourt Stars by 0-13 to 1-9. Crosserlough, also progressed by beating Lavey by 3-6 to 0-13.