The Derry senior football championship final has been put back a week after Kilrea and Slaughtneil played out an enthralling draw in Saturday’s semi-final.
Midfield general: Patsy Bradley produced a fine display
The final — with Ballinderry waiting for the winners — was scheduled for this Sunday, but with the replay at Celtic Park on Wednesday, Derry CCC has postponed the final until October 21.
There was nothing to choose between Kilrea and Slaughtneil at Celtic Park.
Superb individual performances from Patsy Bradley in midfield, and Lee Kennedy and Jim Kelly in front of the posts were the highlights of a game that swung from one end to the other all evening, and which neither side particularly deserved to lose.
Slaughtneil started brightly and led by 0-3 to 0-0 but a mistake by Conan Cassidy let in Kieran Og O’Kane to net, playing just eight days after the death of his father.
That goal gave Kilrea a real foothold and Lee Kennedy was irrepressible in front of goal and helped the Pearses lead by 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time.
But Slaughtneil came out all guns blazing and hit five unanswered points in the third quarter to lead 0-13 to 1-8. They maintained a lead until the last five minutes when points from Gavin McWilliams and James Kielt put Kilrea back in front, only for them to be pegged back one last time by Christopher Bradley’s late free.
Slaughtneil: A McMullan; C Cassidy, C McKaigue, Francis McEldowney; K McKaigue, B McGuigan (0-1), D McMullan (0-1); Patsy Bradley, P McGuigan; Fergal McEldowney (0-2), C Bradley (0-5, 0-2f, 0-1 45’), P Kelly; J Kelly (0-5, 0-2f), M Kelly, S McGuigan (0-2). Subs: M McEldowney for Cassidy (HT), P Kearney for Francis McEldowney (blood sub, 39, reversed 44), S Kelly for P McGuigan (42), G Bradley for M Kelly (55), P Kearney for McMullan (60).
Kilrea: E McKay; J Morgan, L Morrow (0-1), J Darragh; M McWilliams, C Kielt, S McMahon; James Kielt (0-4f), J Donaghy (0-1); G McWilliams (0-1), K Óg O’Kane (1-0), T Rafferty; E Morgan, L Kennedy (0-6, 0-2f), P McNeill. Subs: B Quigg for Kennedy (blood sub, 31, reversed 35), A Rainey for Darragh (44), B McKay for O’Kane (47), B Quigg for Rafferty (47).
Referee: D Loughery (Limavady).