St Mary's Banagher (Doire) 2-11 Art Mac Murchada Belnaleck (Fear Manach) 0-09
A goal at the beginning of each half from pacy corner forward Tiarnan Moore saw St Mary's Banagher ease their way through to an Ulster IFC Semi-Final meeting with Glenfin of Donegal on Saturday evening at Owenbeg.
It was the second of the brace that killed off the Fermanagh champions Belnaleck, who had battled back from their early setback to trail by a two at half time against a Banagher side who found themselves frustrated with a few of the officials' first half calls.
With Art McMurchada's boasting a strong intercounty spine to their team, a good start was going to be crucial for the Derry men, and when Peter Hagan tapped over an early free it was the settling score that they needed.
Darragh McGurn fired over the bar on a burst through the Banagher defence to equalise before Moore's first major intervention.
Ciaran Lynch, goalscorer from the bench in the county final, started this match and played a key role in the goal, collecting a Darragh McCloskey pass before slipping it into the path of Tiarnan Moore, who finished low to the net to give his side a flying start.
Dwayne McNulty, a late change for McMurrough's, fired over an instant reply for the Fermanagh men before Hagan knocked over a brace of scores for Banagher, adding a floated effort to a neat free kick to leave his side leading by four.
A close-range free from McGurn saw a neat response from the Erne men, before the game entered an extended period of stalemate, Belnaleck in particular guilty of some inaccurate shooting as their wide count began to tick over. The inactivity was only broken when a foul on Kane Connor allowed McGurn to slot a simple free from 13 yards.
In acres of space, Shane Farren fumbled the ball, but recovered to point, before Belnaleck midfielder Sean Lewsley ended the half with his first of the game, firing an effort over off the outside of his right boot following a Kane Connor pass.
McMurrough's would have been reasonably pleased with the effort of their first thirty minutes as they held the favourites to only a two point lead, but within 24 seconds of the restart their task was made more arduous.
Tiarnan Moore collected the ball on the right flank in front of the stand, and burst past Fergal Keenan on a looping run. Moore found the marauding Darragh McCloskey through the middle. Goalkeeper Ryan McNulty did well to parry McCloskey's initial effort, but as it squirmed under his body, Moore continued his run along the end line to tap home the rebound.
With the gap now five points, Darragh McGurn reduced the deficit after a period of end-to-end football, with both goalkeepers called into action to deal with high balls, before Shane Farren rescued a point following a Banagher goal chance. Only a timely interception from Fergal Keenan denied Ciaran Lynch a sight of McNulty's goal, but Farren recovered to restore the five-point gap. Mark Lynch then fired over a free from the left hand side to extend the Banagher lead.
Sean Lewsley raised Belnaleck hopes with a neat score off a Bryan Owens pass but as the Belnaleck resistance began to fade, the St Mary's attack began to exert their influence on the match.
Brian Óg McGilligan and Gavin O'Neill performed a neat double-act, McGilligan feeding O'Neill for a score before O'Neill returned the favour minutes later to see the Derry champions take their lead to eight points.
A poor Ryan McNulty kick out fell into the arms of Ciaran Lynch, who broke free of his man to swing over a neat score, before McNulty repeated the mistake, Lynch this time laying the ball off to Tiarnan Moore to take the score.
Substitute Peter Monaghan and Darragh McGurn raised white flags to take the sheen off the score, but Sean Laverty's final whistle was a relief to the Fermanagh men who had been playing second fiddle since the second of Moore's green flags.
Having won their first county championship in 66 years, the St Mary's men have their sights firmly set on further silverware and they will take their campaign on the road with a Quarter-Final tie with Glenfin to come in two weeks' time.
St Mary's: Darrell McDermott, Shane Murphy (Mícheál Anderson), Ruairí McCloskey, Oisín McCloskey, Paul Cartin (c) (Cien McCloskey), Sean McCullagh, Darragh McCloskey, Brian Óg McGilligan (0-01), Mark Lynch (0-01f), Gavin O'Neill (0-01) (Steafan McCloskey), Peter Hagan (0-01, 0-02f), Conor Feeney (Niall Moore), Ciaran Lynch (0-01), Shane Farren (0-02), Tiarnan Moore (2-02).
Art Mac Murchada: Ryan McNulty, Fergal Keenan, Ché Cullen, Ryan Cassidy, Oran McCarney, Kane Connor, Lee Cullen, Sean Lewsley (0-02) (Frank Rafferty), Dermot Lewsley (Garett Cavanagh), Dwayne McNulty (0-01) (Peter Monaghan), Conor McAuley (c), Glen Treacy (Garvin Quigley), Bryan Owens, Darragh McGurn (0-01, 0-05f), Ronan Quigley.
Referee: Sean Laverty (St Ergnatt's Moneyglass, Aontroim)