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Slaughtneil remain on the title trail as Killyclogher bite the dust

 

By John Campbell

Slaughtneil remain on course for a fourth consecutive Derry senior football championship but only after they survived a tenacious challenge from Glen in yesterday's semi-final at Celtic Park.

The champions were stretched to the limit by their resilient opponents who stayed on their shoulder for the greater part of the game having trailed by just a point at the halfway stage (0-4 to 0-3).

The free taking of Paul Bradley, Patsy Bradley's leadership from midfield and the quiet authority of Chrissy McKaigue underpinned Slaughtneil's performance in a match that was laced with some superb passages of football and fine individual scoring feats.

Danny Tallon, Emmett Bradley, John McCamley and Cathal Mulholland helped to keep Glen in touch but it was in the closing 10 minutes that Paul Bradley played a key role in easing Slaughtneil into a more comfortable position before they clinched their 0-13 to 0-6 win.

They will now meet Ballinascreen in the final following the latter side's 0-11 to 0-9 win over a gallant Greenlough outfit who took their lead from Niall Loughlin and Enda Lynn, but the experienced Benny Heron was among those who helped Ballinascreen finally get over the line.

But while Slaughtneil march on, Tyrone champions Killyclogher fell by the wayside when they lost to a fired-up Pomeroy by 1-9 to 0-7 in what was the first step in the defence of their title.

John Loughran's goal, three late points from Frank Burns and an inspirational display from Kieran McGeary highlighted a superb all-round Pomeroy effort.

Coalisland also progressed in Tyrone when they beat Galbally by 3-11 to 1-11, with two goals from Stephen McNally proving central to their victory.

In the Armagh senior football championship Ciaran McKeever played a leading role as St Patrick's (Cullyhanna) beat Whitecross by 2-12 to 2-7 after they had trailed by 1-6 to 0-3 at the interval. Niall Grimley, meanwhile, played a big part in Madden's fine 1-15 to 0-9 win over Granemore.

And Devenish turned on the style to reach the Fermanagh senior championship final when they beat Tempo by 0-9 to 0-8 in a tense, hard-fought clash at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.

Terry O'Flanagan (3) and Jason Love (2) got important scores as Devenish kept their noses in front and they will meet the winners of the Roslea versus Derrygonnelly replay in the final.

In the Antrim senior hurling championship semi-finals Dunloy swept past Ballycastle by 2-21 to 0-11 with Paul Shields (0-9) and Conal Cunning (0-5) to the fore while Cushendall, with Neil McManus impressive, managed to squeeze past Loughgiel in the other semi by 0-13 to 0-12.

The forthcoming final between Dunloy and Cushendall will afford the re-appointed Antrim hurling management team a chance to assess talent ahead of 2018.

In the Tyrone senior hurling championship final Eire Og (Carrickmore) beat Eoghan Ruadh (Dungannon) by 3-11 to 0-12 with Aidy Kelly scoring 2-6 while the accurate Damian Casey garnered the majority of the losers' scores from frees.

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