Dominant Slaughtneil complete historic three in a row
Derry SFC Final: Slaughtneil 2-11 Loup 0-06
Slaughtneil once again proved their championship pedigree when they made it three-in-a-row accounting for Loup by 11 points at Celtic Park.
The defending Derry champions took a firm grip of proceedings almost from the first throw-in and despite facing an unhelpful partisan breeze, the Emmet's ran in with a six point lead at the break.
Free-taker Paul Bradley shouldered the burden of the first half points, while Shane McGuigan accounted for the first goal of the game when he fisted past Thomas Mallon in the 11th minute. Christopher Bradley's attempted point was held up dangerously by the wind and when the Loup rearguard hesitated McGuigan used all his predatory instincts to palm the ball into the back of the net.
County captain Chrissy McKaigue was highly influential for Slaughtneil in the opening phases while Padraig Cassidy, with his lung-bursting forages forward, was the key man in midfield.
Further frees from Paul Bradley and Christopher Bradley stretched the lead to 1-8 to 0-3 early in the second half.
Despite squandering an unforgiving number of chances in front of the sticks, two Anthony O'Neill frees reduced Loup's deficit but when Se McGuigan slotted past Thomas Mallon in the 44th minute it was game, set and match to the Emmet's.
Further points Paul Bradley, Karl McKaigue and Patsy Bradley stretched Slaughtneil's win to an emphatic one. Gavin Mallon's injury point, only his side's second score from play all game, proved to be a late consolation for a disappointing Loup side.
Slaughtneil become only the third Derry club to complete an historic three in a row of senior football championships, after Bellaghy and Ballinderry, and assistant manager John Joe Keaney summed up the historic occasion for his club.
"When Micky Moran came in to take this job for three years I'm sure at some point he thought he would win a championship but to have won three in a row is beyond your wildest dreams," he said.
Once again the Emmet's are victims of their own success, with an Ulster senior club hurling final up next weekend.
"There will be little room for celebrating for half this team is hurlers and they're out next Sunday. There will be a bit of a celebration but I don't think there will be too much porter drunk."
Slaughtneil: Antoin McMullan, Francis McEldowney, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue 0-1, Paul McNeill, Chrissy McKaigue 0-1, Keelan Feeney, Patsy Bradley 0-1, Padraig Cassidy, Shane McGuigan 1-1, Paul Bradley 0-6 (0-5f), Meehaul McGrath, Christopher Bradley, Se McGuigan 1-0, Cormac O'Doherty. Subs: Padrig Kelly for C O'Doherty (53), Paudie McGuigan for P Bradley (55), Barry McGuigan for C Keeney (57), Ronan Bradley for CBradley (57), Paedar Kearney for P Kelly (B/C)
Loup: Thomas Mallon, Colm McVey, Dominic McVey, Conal McGinley, Patrick Coney, Thomas McVey, Jason Rocks, Terence O'Brien 0-1f, Aidan McAlynn, Anthony O'Neill 0-3f, Paul McVey, Brian Doyle, Ciaran Devlin, Paul Young, Declan McVey 0-1. Subs: Gavin Mallon 0-1 for B Doyle (H/T), Caolan Devlin for A O'Neill (53), Gary Doyle for P McVey (54)
Referee: Brendan Quinn