A brace of Shane McGuigan goals helped Slaughtneil to a comfortable Derry SFC final victory over Ballinascreen at Celtic Park this afternoon.
The win not only completed a four-in-a-row of titles, but also another football and hurling double for the remarkable Emmet's. Slaughtneil now have their sights set on retaining their provincial crowns in both codes, with the footballers opening their Ulster defence against either Kilcoo or Burren on October 15.
The champions signalled their intent by racing into an early four-point lead before 'Screen halved the deficit. Chrissy McKaigue raised the game's first green flag in the 11th minute after being set up by Brendan Rogers before the challengers replied with three unanswered points.
Slaughtneil's Francis McEldowney celebrates a four-in-a-row of Derry SFC titles with his son Barry. ©INPHO/Lorcan Doherty.
However, a second goal in the 22nd minute from McGuigan - who hit 2-4 in a man of the match performance - and three Chrissy Bradley points gave Mickey Moran's men a 2-8 to 0-7 lead at the break.
Keelan Feeney had a third goal for the winners within 90 seconds of the restart before Antoin McMullan saved a penalty at the other end from Benny Heron. Anton Kelly did manage to beat McMullan a short time later, only for McGuigan to reply with Slaughtneil's fourth major.
The losers finished with 14 men after Philip Bradley was sent off, while their margin of defeat would have been greater but for Niall McGlade's penalty save from Chrissy Bradley late on.
Slaughtneil - A McMullan; P McNeill, B Rogers, K McKaigue; F McEldowney, C McKaigue (1-0), K Feeney (1-0); Patsy Bradley, P Cassidy (0-1); Shane McGuigan (2-4, 0-1f), Paul Bradley (0-1f), M McGrath (0-1); C O'Doherty, Se McGuigan (0-1), C Bradley (0-3). Subs: R Bradley (0-1) for C O'Doherty, B McGuigan for F McEldowney, P McGuigan for Patsy Bradley.
Ballinascreen - N McGlade; P McGlade, D McBride, E Gilmore; K Conway, M McShane, P Bradley (0-2); P Burns, A Kelly (1-0); C McWilliams, S Mulgrew (0-4f), B Herron (0-2); B Heron (0-1), R Murphy (0-1), B Grant (0-1). Subs: M McBride for P Burns, M Bradley for E Gilmore, G Conway for R Murphy, JP Devlin for A Kelly.
Referee - D Mullan.