Kilcoo 0-9 Slaughtneil 0-12
When Slaughtneil captain Francis McEldowney held aloft the Seamus McFerran Cup at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, he did so in the knowledge that his club has yet again created history.
In defeating Kilcoo by three points they have now done the ‘treble’ - adding the Ulster Senior Club Football Championship to their hurling and camogie provincial titles - all in 2016.
Teenager Shane McGuigan top scored for Slaughtneil with five points (three from play) as the Derry men held off a robust second half fight back from the five in a row Down champions to win by three points.
A powerful finish to the first half, where they scored four rapid fire points in the last three minutes, handed Slaughtneil a 0-9 to 0-5 lead at the break.
Micky Moran's men began with real intent from the moment the throw-in ball was claimed vociferously by midfielder Patsy Bradley. Points from free-takers Shane McGuigan (with the left) and Paul Bradley (with the right) was no more than ample reward for their dominant side.
After that strong start Kilcoo finally found their feet with points from Paul Devlin, Ceilum Doherty and Ryan Johnston pulling the two sides level after 15 minutes.
Two scores from rampaging full back Brendan Rogers edged the Slaughtneil ahead once more before a fine Daryl Branagan point levelled matters again with five minutes to go before the break.
Then came the Emmet’s blitz. Christopher Bradley, from distance, the raiding Chrissy McKaigue, Shane McGuigan - who could have goaled - and Cormac O’Doherty all split the posts as the 2014 Ulster champions manufactured a crucial four point advantage just before the interval.
With the words of manager Paul McIver ringing in their ears, Kilcoo burst out of the blocks on the restart. Points from Darragh O’Hanlon, Martin Devlin and a brace from Ceilum Doherty made it a one point game by the 51st minute.
Down county player and creative hub Conor Laverty was beginning to weave spells in the chilly Armagh air with the game very much in the balance.
A Shane McGuigan free edged Slaughtneil to a 0-11 to 0-9 lead soon after, but the Derry men have goalkeeper Antoin McMullan to thank for a magnificent 56th minute save to deny Eugene Branagan what would have certainly been a goal. And a crucial one at that.
Deep into injury time though a clinker from Paul Bradley confirmed the Slaughtneil victory. And history.
Kilcoo: Niall Kane, Eugene Branagan, Darragh O'Hanlon (0-02, 0-02f), Niall Branagan, Daryl Branagan (0-01), Aidan Branagan, Aaron Branagan, James McClean, JJ McLoughlin, Ceilum Doherty (0-03), Aaron Morgan, Ryan Johnston (0-01), Martin Devlin (0-01), Paul Devlin (0-01, 0-01f), Conor Laverty
Subs: Fhelim McGreevy for J McClean (BC 39 mins), Donal Kane for JJ McLoughlin (45 mins)
Slaughtneil: Antoin McMullan, Francis McEldowney, Brendan Rogers (0-02), Karl McKaigue, Paul McNeill, Christopher McKaigue (0-01), Keelan Feeney, Patsy Bradley, Padraig Cassidy, Shane McGuigan (0-05, 0-02f), Paul Bradley (0-02, 0-02f), Meehaul McGrath, Christopher Bradley (0-01), Se McGuigan, Cormac O'Doherty (0-01)
Subs: Ronan Bradley for M McGrath (39), Gerald Bradley for Se McGuigan (45 mins), Brian Cassidy for C O’Doherty (57 mins)
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)