Emmet’s GAC Slaughtneil 1-32 Erin’s Own Lavey 1-12
Eight different scorers. Thirty-two points. The ruthless punishment of mistakes. Whisper it, but the Slaughtneil swagger is back.
After suffering their near miss against Kevin Lynch's last year in Ballinascreen, Emmet's limped through the final before suffering defeat against Ballycran in Corrigan Park, but they laid down a firm statement of intent as they demolished Erin's Own this afternoon.
Such was their dominance that they opted to play the final few minutes with fourteen men rather than disqualify any of their fringe players from a chance at Reserve championship action.
Lavey began the game well though and were ahead after less than a minute, full-forward Ciaran Henry showing good pace to win the first ball and swing between the posts.
Slaughtneil opened their account on 3 minutes, Henry's opposite number Jerome McGuigan shooting low over the bar after briefly considering a shot at goal.
Fintan Bradley's 65 nudged Erin's Own back in front but a Gerald Bradley response levelled matters before the same player fired a warning shot at Michael Taggart, the Lavey stopper turning it away in some style.
Wing-back Shane McGuigan sent a long-range effort sailing over to edge the champions back in front but a moment of class from Eamon McGill wrestled the lead back for Lavey. The midfielder dipped a breaking ball and drove at the Slaughtneil defence, sending a shot zipping into the top corner of Morgan McEldowney's goal.
Corner forward Ryan Farren added another and after Bradley once again tested the bend of Taggart's hurl for Slaughtneil, Ciaran Henry hit his second of the afternoon to give the challengers a four-point lead on 8 minutes.
Unpanicked, Emmet's set about their business in methodical and ruthless fashion and were level within five minutes. Cormac O'Doherty's 65 kick-started the revival and further points from Jerome McGuigan, a Chrissy McKaigue brace and Gerald Bradley were punctuated only by another Fintan Bradley score.
The impressive Jerome McGuigan sent the Robbies into the lead before Taggart pulled off a third save, this time from a mishit Cormac O'Doherty effort, but the Emmet's waves kept crashing down on the Lavey defence.
A quartet of O'Doherty frees and a Shane McGuigan effort saw Slaughtneil lead by seven after 23 minutes of play and further scores from Sé McGuigan, Brendan Rodgers and yet another O'Doherty free extended that to ten by the break.
There was no respite for a beleaguered Lavey in the second period and Man of the Match Gerald Bradley rattled Michael Taggart's hurl once again, before O'Doherty's metronomic accuracy increased their lead on 32 minutes.
Lavey hit back with a long-range Fintan Bradley free, but the Erin's Own men were simply sniping around the edges as Slaughtneil fired over a further 1-08 before their next score on 48 minutes.
The scoring spree included 0-03 in mere seconds as Lavey's puck out strategy imploded with Gerald Bradley, Mark McGuigan and Brendan Rodgers the benefactors and when Bradley caught the ball on the 21m line and rifled it into the bottom corner without breaking stride, Slaughtneil led by 22 points.
Again it was Fintan Bradley who replied for Lavey but his point was immediately cancelled out by another Gerald Bradley effort. The Erin's Own half-forward notched a further point on 54 minutes and substitute Liam Murphy also pointed, but the Emmet's advance was relentless.
O'Doherty now off the pitch not to be replaced, Chrissy McKaigue put 21 between them again with a long-range free before Bradley again responded for Lavey, an excellent sideline cut finding the target from the right flank.
Further points from Odhran Waldron and Sam Dodds were matched by Conor McAllister and Sé McGuigan before referee Barry Winters called for the ball and put a shell-shocked Lavey out of their misery.
The Emmet's will face a repeat of last year's Semi-Final against Kevin Lynch's in this year's final and will have fired a warning shot not only throughout Derry, but across the Bann to Antrim and Down.
For now though, they will concentrate on a determined Kevin Lynch's in a fortnight's time.
Emmet’s GAC Slaughtneil: Morgan McEldowney, Karl McKaigue, Sean Cassidy, Michael McEldowney, Shane McGuigan (0-02), Seán Ó Cáiside, Meehaul McGrath, Conor McAllister, Chrissy McKaigue (0-04, 0-01f), Mark McGuigan (0-02), Cormac O’Doherty (0-03, 0-05f, 0-02 – 65), Gerald Bradley (1-03), Sé McGuigan (0-03), Jerome McGuigan (0-04), Brendan Rodgers (0-03).
Subs: James McCloskey for Meehaul McGrath 56’.
Erin’s Own Lavey: Michael Taggart, Colm Dillon, Chrissy Henry, Shane Lagan, Brendan Laverty, Conor McGurk, Dermot O’Neill, Sam Dodds (0-01), Eamon McGill (1-00), Colm Murphy, James Crawford, Fintan Bradley (0-02, 0-03f, 0-01 – 65), Ryan Farren (0-01), Ciaran Henry (0-02), Ryan Mulholland.
Subs: Shane McGill for Conor McGurk 21’, Liam Murphy (0-01) for Ryan Mulholland 27’, Cahal O’Loan for Ryan Farren 36’, Odhran Waldron (0-01) for James Crawford 47’, Dara McPeake for Brendan Laverty 47’.
Referee: Barry Winters (Eoghan Ruadh)
Man of the Match: Gerald Bradley (Slaughtneil)