Laszlo Geczo/INPHO The Athletic Grounds, scene of today's victory for Slaughtneil.
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Slaughtneil see off Dunloy to advance to another Ulster hurling final
Down’s Ballycran await in the decider.

Dunloy 0-14

Slaughtneil: 1-18

Declan Bogue reports from the Athletic Grounds  

SLAUGHTNEIL ARE BACK in another Ulster club final, their fifth of the last six seasons it has been staged, and will have plenty of motivation for what comes next. 

They face Down’s Ballycran in the decider. When the two met in 2018, it wasn’t that Slaughtneil underestimated their opponents, but got a tremendous beating all the same in Corrigan Park. The final is to be played there again and they will be ready for it. 

You had to admire their tenacity and their workrate here. And, tactically they won the battle hands down. 

Dunloy tried to change things up from previous meetings, putting Seaan Elliott in midfield to try and run Chrissy McKaigue for one. But on a rotten night with the wind howling under the floodlights, the mixer was the only place for the ball. Dunloy caressed and passed all evening and it brought nothing but trouble. 

Seven consecutive points either side of the first water break gave Slaughtneil a wonderful platform, Cormac O’Doherty assured and with the benefit of a big wind. 

Dunloy narrowed that gap to three at the break, and further again to a point at the start of the second half. 

But then Slaughtneil took advantage of some fussy Dunloy play to force a turnover on Ryan McGarry by Brian  Cassidy, Brendan Rogers ultimately profiting with a goal. Rogers finished a four minute spell with 1-2 to his name and with Slaughtneil using their experience, they played the game on their own terms for the rest of the contest. 

Scorers for Dunloy: C Cunning (0-6, 5f, 0-1 ‘65’), P Sheils and E O’Neill (0-2 each), Keelan Molloy, Kevin Molloy, D Smith, S Elliott (0-1 each)

Scorers for Slaughtneil: C O’Doherty (0-7, 7f), B Rogers (1-4), M McGrath (0-3), Shane McGuigan, C McKaigue, B Cassidy, J Cassidy (0-1 each)

DUNLOY: R Elliott; A Crawford, C McKinley, C Kinsella; R Molloy, N McKeague, R McGarry; P Shiels, Keelan Molloy; E O’Neill, Kevin  Molloy, D Smith; E Smyth, C Cunning, S Elliott

Subs: C McMahon for N McKeague (24′), S Dooey for D Smith (49′)

SLAUGHTNEIL: O O’Doherty; K McKaigue, S Cassidy, P McNeill; Shane McGuigan, C McAllister, M McGrath; G Bradley, C McKaigue; M McGuigan, C O’Doherty, B Rogers; Sé McGuigan, J McGuigan, B Cassidy

Subs: J Cassidy for B Cassidy (60′)

Referee: James Connors (Donegal)


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