Johnnies in pole position after first-leg win

Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship Preliminary Round, First Leg

Ballycastle McQuillans 1-15   St John’s 5-17

St John’s all but booked their place in the round robin stage of the Bathshack Antrim Senior Hurling Championship when they beat Ballycastle by fourteen points in the first leg of Sunday evening’s preliminary round at Pairc MacUilin, Ballycastle. The Johnnies will host the Town at Corrigan Park in two weeks’ time but even the most optimistic Ballycastle fan would concede that the game will be a mere formality.

Five goals by the Corrigan Park outfit, and no less than eight different scorers would suggest that they have a team who will not only win the second leg but one that compete with confidence in the round robin of the championship proper which follows. The West Belfast men by 3-8 to 1-8 in a dominant first half and after the break they took full control, adding three more goals in a dominant performance.

St John’s were on top from the throw-in and points from Michael Bradley and Colm McFall were followed by a goal from Shea Shannon after good approach work by Donal Carson. Ciaran Butler opened the Ballycastle account with a point but the men in black and amber were finding scores hard to come by from open play and relied mainly on the free taking skills of corner forward Diarmuid McShane. The second Johnnies goal came soon afterwards when a Johnnies sideline cut was sent in around the Ballycastle ‘square’ and as the Castle defence struggled to clear Jimmy Peoples fired a ground stroke high into the net to further strengthen his team’s position. When Conor Johnston added a Johnnies point soon afterwards Ballycastle were in a spot of bother but they got themselves back into contention with two pointed frees from Diarmuid McShane and one from play by Ciaran Butler.

Michael Bradley added a St John’s point on 24 minutes and Conor Johnston tagged on one from a free, but with half time fast approaching Diarmuid McShane pulled one back for the Town when he fired over a point from a free. Just before the short whistle Ciaran Butler earned his team a penalty when a great high catch on the edge of the Johnnies square saw him being hauled down and match referee Colum Cunning had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Diarmuid McShane stepped up to the mark and drilled the resultant penalty low to the corner of Simon Doherty’s net to lift the home team’s spirits but the sooner had the home team’s fans cheers died down until the ball was in the back of their own net and Donal Carson got in behind their defence to pick up a sideline cut and drill the ball to the net to give his team 3-8 to 1-8 half-time lead.10Michael Bradley clears the ball as Ballycastle’s Shane McCarry comes in to block. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine

Points from Carson and Conor Johnston after the resumption were answered by one from a McShane free and that gap was now out at seven, and things got a lot worse for the home side on 40 minutes when Conor Johnston broke through to place full forward Michael Dudley for his team’s fourth goal to stretch the gap to ten. Two more McShane points from frees and one from play by TT Butler kept Ballycastle hopes alive but the Johnnies fifth goal killed off those hopes soon afterwards, Dudley again doing the damage with a fine strike high into the corner of the Ballycastle net.

From here on it was just how much a lead for the second half and the lead was out to fourteen before Ballycastle hopes received another setback as goalkeeper Ryan McGarry received his marching orders from match referee Colum Cunning.

Ballycastle have two weeks to prepare for their biggest game of the year but they know the task of overturning a fourteen point deficit is probably beyond them. St John’s will feel the second leg is a mere formality, but they will have no intention of taking their foot off the pedal and they will rubbing their hands at the prospect of a good championship run this season.

BALLYCASTLE: R McGarry; O Kearney, M Donnelly, J McLister; S McCarry, N McAuley, O McAuley; R McCarry, C Boyd; B McQuillan, KB McShane, E Elliott; D McShane (1-11, 0-9 frees, 1-0 penalty), C Butler (0-2), TT Butler (0-2). Subs: S Staunton for TT Butler (48), C Connor (0-1) for E Elliott (52), B Connor for C Butler (60).

ST JOHN’S: S Doherty; S Wilson, C Morgan, A McMahon; S McCrory, B McFall, R McNulty; Ciaran Johnston, J Peoples (1-0); Conor Johnston (0-7, 3 frees), M Bradley (0-3), C McFall (0-1); S Shannon (1-0), M Dudley (2-1), D Carson (1-2). Subs: D Moran (0-1) for C McFall (48), O Donnelly for S McCrory (57).

REFEREE: Colum Cunning (Dunloy)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

Ballycastle and St John’s in historic Championship opener

Bathshack Senior Hurling Championship

McQuillan’s, Ballycastle v St John’s – Sunday August 12 – Throw In: 5:30pm

Referee: Colum Cunning (Cuchullains, Dunloy)

By Brendan McTaggart

The road to Volunteer Cup glory begins on the north coast on Sunday evening in familiar surroundings, if not unusual circumstances.  Ballycastle and St John’s open the 2018 Bathshack senior hurling championship at Páirc MacUílín in the first match of a two-legged play-off.  Yes, that isn’t a misprint, typo or error and you did read it right.  Two matches with an aggregate score to determine who progresses to the Volunteer Cup group stages.  It’s got a certain champions league feel about it but the stakes are the same.  Win two matches and you’re through.  Just keep winning matches.  That’s the equation for The Town and the men from the Whiterock Road.

After the disappointment of 2017, the men in black and amber have come storming back in 2018.  An unbeaten league campaign sees Ballycastle re-joining the top table of Antrim hurling and has them coming into the championship in good form with high hopes of making a mockery of the bookies.  If anyone fancies a punt on the 17 time Antrim champions, Paddy Power have them 15/8.  Other bookmakers are available.Ballycastle

Good performances in the U21 championship before coming unstuck against Dunloy in the Final will have given Ballycastle a boost and added to the winning mentality.  An emphasis has been made on youth development in Ballycastle since their humbling defeat to Dunloy in the 2017 championship semi-final, as promised by captain Matthew Donnelly while stood outside the Cushendall changing rooms as we spoke of what the future would hold for the Town.  They’ve recouped and put the collective shoulder to the wheel.  Under Chris ‘Bamba’ McAuley and his management team, they have swept all before them in Division Two but it’s a familiar story……

Rewind the clock 12 months and we have a mirrored story but instead of Ballycastle, read St John’s.  The Johnnies have more than held their own in 2018 after an unbeaten 2017 in Division Two and have created the blueprint for Ballycastle to follow – coming into Sunday’s match as 1/2 favourites with Paddy Power.

As things currently stand, they will finish the league not only staving off a return to Division Two but they are looking like finishing in the top four – thus booking a seeding spot for the 2019 championship.  You could say that it’s a job well done by Tony McNulty’s management team and troops.  But there’s something growing under the shadows of Cave Hill on the Whiterock Road.  An awakening of sorts.  A club beginning to realise its potential with countless juvenile successes now coming to fruition at senior level.

Last year St John’s came unstuck at the first hurdle against eventual winners, Dunloy.  Ten points separated the sides but a closer inspection of that Sunday evening reveals the Johnnies came close to ending the Cuchullains renaissance before it even started!  It was only in the last quarter that Dunloy saw off the St John’s challenge but the seeds had been sewn and the roots developed for a return to competitive hurling for St John’s.  In 2018 the recovery has began to develop the green shoots to catch the eye of the Corrigan Park faithful once again.St Johns 2

So to Sunday – The Championship and a return to The Manager’s View on The Saffron Gael..

Manager’s View from Ballycastle….

Bamba McAuley heads an eight strong team in charge of Ballycastle.  From selectors to physios, statistics and strength and conditioning, the Ballycastle men have all basis covered.  A sign of the changing times we live in with hurling and a sign that the Town are serious about how and where they develop their undoubtedly talented youth.

We spoke Donal Cunningham and the Ballycastle selector told us how they’ve went about their business in 2018: “There had to be a change of mindset but an honest approach as well.  Division Two isn’t the handy wee league some people might have you believe it is and at the end of the day, we weren’t in this Division by accident.  We went out and gave our opponents the respect they deserved but we’ve worked hard to get to where we have this year.  Promotion from Division Two was our main priority this year but this is the Championship and the Championship is engrained in this clubs DNA.  We’ll be underdogs but we’re going to give this a good rattle.”

In recent times Ballycastle have been affected with the lure of America and Australia on their players.  The development of youth has almost been thrust upon the men in black and amber and Cunningham this year has been their silver lining: “We had a decent run in the U21’s and a good result in the semi-final raised hopes before the Final.  We didn’t really do ourselves justice and that’s taking nothing away from a very talented Dunloy side but on Sunday we could be starting with as many as nine from that team.”  Cunningham continued: “I don’t want to sound dismissive of the other teams in Division Two, but it was perfect to blood these younger players.  Division One, you just don’t get that leeway.  You can’t afford to take your eye off the ball and we’ve been able to lay the foundations while maintaining a winning mentality.”

It’s not often the bookies get these matches wrong.  Ballycastle are underdogs but Cunningham says his side are more than happy to have that mantle going into Sunday’s championship opener: “The tag (underdogs) sits well with this team in my eyes.  They already feel like they have a point to prove and being the underdogs will allow them that freedom to go out and do so.

“We know what St John’s are capable off.  We know their strengths and if anything, they are a year ahead of us in terms of developing their talented youth in their ranks.  They have created the template that we want to follow in 2019 but this is the championship, albeit not in its usual format.”

The two legged nature of this preliminary round tie has everyone travelling into the unknown for Sunday and Cunningham isn’t a fan: “It takes away from the magic of championship hurling if I’m being honest.  We’ve had back doors and all the rest in the past but there’s nothing to beat knock out hurling.  We’ve seen the likes of the Super 8’s and that this year but knock out and championship should always go hand in hand.”

With the first match being played on home turf, Cunningham doesn’t see any benefit for either side: “It’s just so different to anything either of us will have encountered before.  Does it make a difference?  I’ll probably be able to answer that better at 7pm on Sunday but we know after Sunday that it will only be half time and whatever the result, it should set up a good game in Corrigan for the return leg.”

Manager’s View from St John’s….

The Johnnies have impressed on their return to Division One in 2018.  Tony McNulty’s side have built upon the foundations laid in 2017 and learned from past mistakes.  As the saying goes, a mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it and St John’s are on that curve.  We spoke with the St John’s manager on what his thoughts were on the league but firstly, their preseason goals: “We started the year looking to maintain our Division One status with a top half finish.  Now it looks like we’re going to finish in the top four of the Antrim teams in the Division.

“We’ve had a good season in terms of competing in Division One.  You look at our match against Loughgiel that finished a draw.  In previous years St John’s teams would have dropped their heads and got beat but these lads put their head down and got something out of the game against a very talented Loughgiel side.”  McNulty continued: “We’ve been mindful of the player commitments in recent weeks.  Dunloy turned us over the last time we played but we had seven or eight boys missing with one eye on this match and dual commitments.”

The 2017 championship for St John’s threw up the tie of the quarter-final where they pushed Dunloy all the way before the Cuchullains pulled away in the closing ten minutes.  10 points separated the sides at the final whistle but the Dunloy celebrations after the hour told the full story.  St John’s came close to causing what would have been an upset.  They had Dunloy under the cosh in the third quarter before Gregory O’Kane’s men pulled away, much like two years previous when they had Cushendall all but beaten.  Both would go and lift the Volunteer Cup after their reprieve.  Make of that what you will.

Sunday brings the new format and McNulty is a fan of the two-legged nature of the preliminary tie: “We’re treating this as nothing less than a championship encounter.  We’re not thinking on anything other than Sunday and winning a championship match.

“I’m a huge fan of this format if I’m honest.  This group of players have only had one championship match per season for the last five or six years but if everything goes to plan, we’ll have these two matches, hopefully two in the league and who knows after that.

“We’re taking nothing for granted though and looking no further than this match.  Ballycastle in Ballycastle is a difficult match for anyone and we’ll need to be on our game to get the result we want.

“It gives these lads more championship matches and nothing beats that.  Nothing comes close to matching that championship intensity and the more times these lads can experience that then it will help their development and help them reach their potential.”

Success at youth doesn’t automatically translate into senior success as any club in the county will testify.  It’s not as simple as that but it looks like St John’s have found the ‘winning’ formula with McNulty urging his side to make the most of their opportunity: “We’ve had success’s at Feile level, U16 and minor in recent years.  That success is now starting to bare fruit at senior level.  We’ve been trying to tell these boys that now is their time to make an impression.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer of taking nothing for granted but we’re in a good place, playing good hurling and looking forward to the start of the championship on Sunday.”

Verdict….

Ballycastle have impressed in how they have gone about their business this year.  They’ve dealt with the disappointment in 2017 in the right way while being able to develop their talented youth in Division Two.  They will relish the opportunity to take a Division One scalp but I think St John’s will be too strong.  The Johnnies have been superb on their return to the top table and on their day, they can take the scalp of any of the teams in the county.  They ran out of steam against Dunloy last year, I don’t see that happening on Sunday.  St John’s to take a comfortable lead to Corrigan Park.

St John’s to lead at half time.

McShane full of admiration for his squad

Mickey McShane copy

Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane

By Brendan McTaggart

Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane was delighted with his sides performance on Sunday.  Despite the early blitz from the Cuchullains, McShane told us that he expected a slow start from his side: “I wasn’t worried.  I knew that the pace of the game was going to be faster than anything we’d encountered all year and I knew it would take us 15 or 20 minutes to make that adjustment.  I think they had a five or six point lead but I knew that once we started to take a couple of scores and start crawling back, get a few tackles in and everything would have been fine.  Honestly, I’d have been happy going into half time two or three points down.

“It wasn’t psychological.  It was the pace of the game.  Dunloy have been playing the likes of St John’s, Ballycastle and Cushendall and no disrespect to the other teams in Derry but that’s a different level and higher pace to what we’ve been playing against plus Dunloy will have had a lot more hurling in their legs than Slaughtneil with their dual commitments.

“Once we got to the pace of the game, we were never going to blitz them like the way we did against Loughgiel.  It certainly wasn’t psychological.”

This Slaughtneil team have an average age of 23.  They have improved immeasurably in recent times and McShane said there is still more to come from his side: “The potential here is scary.  We had an average age out there younger than Dunloy and everyone was going on about this young Dunloy team.  These guys have a whole lot of maturing and a whole lot of getting better to do.  We came out of the Cuala game knowing we played a team who had been building for five or six years to get to that level of performance.  We know we’re four or five years behind them but we’re working towards that but while we’re trying to win an All-Ireland football title as well.

“We’re not talking about All-Ireland’s though.  We’ve won nothing out here today other than earning the right to compete in the Ulster Final against Ballygalget.  That will be another day and another tough game and in between these guys have the small matter of Kilcoo in the Ulster football championship so it’s all go.”

McShane paid tribute to his sides professionalism in the face of their hectic schedule when he continued: “These boys are in the changing room now and they’re already thinking on their recovery for next Sunday.  They never tune out.  They got up today for a big performance and now Mickey (Moran) will start to get them up again on Tuesday for another big performance.  How they do it?  I just don’t know but I’ve got nothing but admiration for them.  They’re brilliant at their job.”

The Slaughtneil reserved special praise for two of his players when he continued: “We’ve got great leaders in our team and in my mind there’s no greater leader in the GAA than Chrissy McKaigue.  He’d be the first to admit that he was slow to get starting there today but by God when we needed him he stood up as he always does, as did Gerald Bradley.  He was in defence, he was in attack driving us on and some of his catching was out of the top drawer.”

Slaughtneil remain on course to retain their Ulster crown and will go into the match as Ballygalget as favourites.  McShane said that they are hoping for more recognition for achievements on the hurling field: “I thought there was a certain element of people who thought that we caught Loughgiel on the hop last year or a Derry team were always going to get lucky some time and the whole focus this year from our lads was to go back and win another Ulster but I repeat, we haven’t won that yet.  But beating the Antrim champions two years in a row is a statement from these guys, they’re a top team and they’re going to be a top team for a long time to come but there’s still a lot of developing to be done.”

Over 6000 people packed into Owenbeg for the semi-final, the biggest crowd recorded at the Dungiven venue.  McShane told us that he wasn’t surprised by the attendance and it was always going to be a spectacle: “Everyone knew it was going to be a good game of hurling.  Dunloy impressed winning in Antrim and we’ve impressed these last couple of three years.  It was in a good venue for everyone so there was always going to be a good crowd and hopefully they’re away home having enjoyed a really fulsome, hard hitting game of hurling.  It wasn’t a dirty game of hurling at all.  Forget about that at the end there, that was just frustration.  There was no dirt in that game.  There was hard hits and the referee did his job magnificently well.”Premier Electrics

 

O’Kane: “The game was played on Slaughtneil’s terms.”

 

0 - Dick

Dunloy manager Gregory O’Kane

By Brendan McTaggart

It wasn’t the ending to the season that Gregory O’Kane would have envisaged after the Antrim final win two weeks ago.  The Dunloy championship train was derailed by the brilliant juggernaut that is Slaughtnail GAC in front of a packed Owenbeg.  Despite a start they would have dreamed about on Saturday night, the Cuchullains struggled in the second quarter.  They came up against and faced a slick, athletic and an efficiently awesome side in the Derry champions and on Sunday they went someway to proving to the rest of Ulster that their victory in 2016 was far from a fluke.

The Dunloy manager was still on the Owenbeg pitch when we caught up with him after the game.  It’s never easy to digest and analyse so soon after the final whistle but O’Kane told us that the Antrim championship took more out of his squad than they bargained for: “In terms of physicality on the day, they were on a different level to us.

“I think we peaked in the Antrim championship final.  It was always going to be serious hard reach those levels that we achieved and played at against Cushendall and in terms of physicality, today was maybe a year or two too early for some of these guys.

“They’re very physical and great athletes, that’s the standard and where we want to get to.”

After the opening quarter, Slaughtneil dominated the semi-final and Dunloy couldn’t find their fast, free flowing game.  When asked if that was down to Slaughtneil and the tactics they employed, O’Kane added: “The game was played on Slaughtneil’s terms.  If that happens then you’re playing second fiddle when it comes to breaks and chances.  You end up snatching at ball and become rushed when you should be more composed.  They had that cushion after the first half.”

O’Kane admitted that his side were beaten by the better side on the day but told us that his side will bounce back from this defeat and come back next year with renewed vigour: “They’re serious athletes and they played two Ulster finals before they won one.  In terms of experience in the Ulster championship they are definitely ahead of us but this has been a good year for the club in terms of progress and we can build on this and come back stronger.”Premier Electrics

Slick Slaughthneil a step too far for Cuchullains

AIB Ulster Club Hurling Championship @ Owenbeg

Dunloy 2-8 Slaughtneil 1-180-11

By Brendan McTaggart

Dunloy were taught a harsh lesson in Owenbeg on Sunday afternoon as Slaughtneil reinforced their credentials as the best team in Ulster.  Seven points separated the sides at the end of the 60 minutes and in truth it did not flatter the the Oakleaf men, who on this display are firm favourites to retain their provincial crown.

It was an incredible performance from the Derry champions who didn’t score their first point from open play until the 20th minute of the game.  Brendan Rodgers with his first of two during the match but it signalled an awakening from Slaughtneil.  Dunloy had made a dream start and after the opening quarter lead by six points, thanks largely to a goal from Nigel Elliott but once Slaughtneil went through the gears, they were ruthlessly brilliant.  1-8 without reply in barely 12 minutes ensured they were firmly on the front foot and they never looked back from then on.

Star forward Cormac O’Doherty put on an exhibition for the winners, finishing with 0-11 for his hours work despite an uncertain start to the match while the Robbies goal came from Rodgers.  Dunloy managed a second goal in second half injury time, Paul Shiels hammering a free high to the back of the Slaughtneil net from 30 plus yards but it acted as scant consolation for the Cuchullains.

Slaughtneil had their homework done on the Dunloy hugely vaunted attacking prowess, conceding just 1-3 from play throughout the match with Karl McKaigue and Meehaul McGrath inspirational in defence.  Their work rate in rucks and breakdown in midfield allowed them to maintain pressure on the Cuchullains with Gerald Bradley and Captain Chrissy McKaigue immense.

The Cuchullains were reduced to 14 men when star forward Conal Cunning was given a straight red card for an altercation in injury time but the match was long over as a contest at that stage as Slaughtneil sent out a warning to the rest of Ulster.  They have a vice like grip on the Four Seasons Cup and don’t intend to loosen their clutch on the provincial crown in a hurry.

Dunloy made two changes from the team that won the county championship two weeks earlier, Paudie Shivers and Ally Dooey coming in for the injured Oran Quinn and full forward Chrissy Brogan.  A free from O’Doherty opened the scoring in the first minute but such was the intensity that the Cuchullains started the game with, it was the last time the Derry champions would trouble the scoreboard operative until the 15th minute.  Paul Shiels picking up from where he left off against Cushendall from placed ball in the third minute before a superb score from Eoin O’Neill put the Cuchullains in the lead in the fifth minute.  The Cuchullains attacking unit were living up to their pre-match billing and when Nigel Elliott found the back of Oisin Doherty’s net in the eighth minute, the Cuchullains support could have been forgiven for thinking they were dreaming.  Retrieving a long delivery from Conor McKinley, Elliott rounded his man before making a trademark dart into the Slaughtneil defence.  His shot was low, drilled and accurate.  The sliotar in the back of the net and the crowd of over 6000 in attendance at Owenbeg erupted.

‘Shorty’ doubled his tally with a free in the 11th minute before a huge score from Gabriel McTaggart opened the Dunloy lead to six points.  That would be as good as it got for the Cuchullains though as Slaughtneil started to settle into the game.  Dropping Gerard Bradley into a deeper role proved to be an inspirational move by the Slaughtneil management team as Bradley was immense in the first half.  If he wasn’t pulling the sliotar out of the sky he was fighting tooth and nail in rucks to gain his side possession.  Dunloy simply couldn’t get a footing as the Oakleaf champions hit eight unanswered points to take a two point lead before Rodgers scored Slaughtneil’s goal in the 26th minute.  Rodgers was at the edge of the square when Chrissy McKaigue sent a long ball into the heart of the Dunloy defence.  Rodgers had Kevin Molloy and Ryan Elliott for company but managed to pull on the sliotar in mid-air and find the back of the Dunloy net.

It rounded off a sensational 12 minute period of hurling for the reigning Ulster champions who went from looking like they were in trouble to taking control of their own destiny.

Shiels stopped the rot when he pointed a free in the 28th minute to reduce the deficit to four points and end the scoring for the half as Slaughtneil went into the interval 1-9 to 1-5 ahead.

Dunloy needed another second half renaissance similar to their county final showing and when Keelan Molloy scored his first of the match with barely a minute played in the second half, the Cuchullain fans would have been forgiven for casting their minds back to that spell of hurling just two weeks ago.  What they got though was more brilliance from Slaughtneil.  O’Doherty, Rodgers, Brian Cassidy before O’Doherty again punished the Antrim champions.

Half time substitute Nicky McKeague and Shiels pointed frees either side of an O’Doherty ’65 but Slaughtneil were relentless.  Three further points in as many minutes from O’Doherty (two) and Brian Cassidy opened a nine-point lead as the game entered injury time.

A brilliant 30 plus yard free riffled to the back of the net from Shiels took his tally to 1-4 for the hour but it was too little too late as far as the Cuchullains were concerned.  Fittingly, it was an O’Doherty free that rounded up the scoring in the third minute of injury time before Cunning saw red souring the end of what was an absorbing contest.

The experience of playing in such games was a major difference between these sides.  Slaughtneil have earned the right to be called the best hurling team in Ulster the hard way in 2016 and on Sunday they showed their class.  For Dunloy, their unbeaten Ulster record comes to an abrupt end and while defeat always leaves a sour taste, they can take solace from the fact that they have shown huge progression in 2017 and build for the future from here.

The Antrim connection. Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane and Cormac Donnelly who is one of his assistants 

Dunloy: Ryan Elliott; Phelim Duffin; James McKeague; Paudie Shivers; Kevin McKeague; Conor McKinley; Kevin Molloy; Ciaran Elliott; Paul Shiels; Nigel Elliott; Gabriel McTaggart; Keelan Molloy; Eoin O’Neill; Ally Dooey; Conal Cunning

Subs: Nicky McKeague for C Elliott (HT); Christopher Brogan for A Dooey (39 mins); Shane Dooey for G McTaggart (42 mins); Eamon Smyth for P Shivers (49 mins)

Slaughtneil: Oisin Doherty; Karl McKaigue; Sean Cassidy; Mark McGuigan; Meehaul McGrath; Shane McGuigan; Paul McNeill; Conor McAllister; Christopher McKaigue; Gerald Bradley; Sean Cassidy; Brendan Rodgers; Se McGuigan; Brian Cassidy; Cormac O’Doherty

Subs: Cormac McKenna for Sean Cassidy (10 mins); Gareth O’Kane for Seán Cassidy (35 mins)

Scorers

Dunloy: Paul Shiels 1-4 (1-4 frees); Nigel Elliott 1-00; Gabriel McTaggart 0-1; Keelan Molloy 0-1; Eoin O’Neill 0-1; Nicky McKeague 0-1 (1 free)

Slaughtneil: Cormac O’Doherty 0-11 (6 frees, 1 ’65); Brendan Rodgers 1-2; Brian Cassidy 0-2; Sé McGuigan 0-1; Christopher McKaigue 0-1; Cormac McKenna 0-1

Ref: James Clarke (Cavan)