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Slaughtneil shade cagey Ulster clash with Omagh

Derry side remain on course for another Ulster crown

Omagh’s Gregory Murray is challenged by Slaughtneil’s Meehaul McGrath. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Slaughtneil 0-10 Omagh 0-8

Slaughtneil’s quest for a third provincial title in four years continues after the Derry champions defeated Omagh by two points at Celtic Park.

Despite a ferocious wind at their back the Emmet’s could boast only a one point advantage as they led 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time.

Mickey Moran’s men raced to a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after 10 minutes. A trademark Christopher Bradley outside of the boot effort opened the Derry champions account in the seventh minute, before follow up scores from Padraig Cassidy, Shane McGuigan and a second from Bradley.

It took St Enda’s until the 15th minute before they finally opened their account through Connor O’Donnell, but rampaging full-back Hugh Gallagher doubled their tally quickly after. Conan McGrugan’s free in the 22nd minute made it a one point game and all to play for.

‘Sammy’ Bradley’s free in the 28th minute stretched Slaughtneil’s narrow lead to two, but Ciaran McLaughlin immediately cancelled that score out before Conor Clarke’s point levelled matters at at 0-5 apiece.

But with the half-time whistle imminent, Se McGuigan blasted over his side’s sixth point of the half to edge them ahead by the minimum.

The second half was just as cagey as the first, but it was Slaughtneil who took early control of matters with two Shane McGuigan frees to stretch their lead to 0-8 to 0-5. Omagh responded through Connor O’Donnell and a Ronan O’Neill free.

Sammy Bradley and Joe McMahon exchanged frees which left Slaughtneil 0-9 to 0-8 ahead with time fast running out.

And Shane McGuigan nailed the last score of the game in the 52nd minute before the Derry men played a little ‘keep ball’ to see out the remainder of the time.

Slaughtneil: Antoin McMullan; Paul McNeill, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue; Francis McEldowney, Christopher McKaigue Keelan Feeney; Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy (0-1); Shane McGuigan (0-4fs), Paudie McGuigan, Meehaul McGrath; Cormac O’Doherty, Se McGuigan (0-1), Christopher Bradley (0-4 0-2fs). Subs: B McGuigan for C McKaigue (43), R Bradley for P McGuigan (45), B Cassidy for R Bradley (59)

Omagh: Niall McGinn; Gregory Murray, Hugh Gallagher (0-1), Stephen Mullan; Ciaran McLaughlin (0-1), Joseph McMahon (0-1f), Barry Tierney; Conor Clarke (0-1), Michael Gallagher; Turlough Gallagher, Conan Grugan (0-1f), Ronan O’Neill (0-1f); Cormac O’Neill, Connor O’Donnell (0-2), Conor Meyler. Subs: J McAnnulla for T Gallagher (40), Ju McMahon for C Clarke (49)

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)