Dunloy, Ballymena

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Review - Derry Hurling


Slaughtneil clinched their sixth SHC title in a row.

The end of the Derry Hurling calendar has been dominated by Kevin Lynch's, firstly winning back-to-back Ulster Minor Championships before seeing off Slaughtneil to take home the U21 crown last weekend. We'll take a look now at those who shone throughout the year, as well as some statistical analysis of the league competitions.


If you haven't already, click to read our reviews of the Mid Season Hurling League and Senior Hurling League with statistics for all the teams.


Senior Hurling Championship

Winners - Robert Emmett's Slaughtneil


The hurlers of Slaughtneil made it six in a row as they saw off a stiff Banagher challenge in the final, but it was in the Semi-Final that they were made to sweat.


A virtuoso performance from minor star Richie Mullan saw him hit 1-08, hammering home a 21m free to bring his side back into the game, before almost snatching a draw in the final seconds with a long-range free.


It was a game that a tenacious and intense Kevin Lynch's challenge almost ended the champions' hopes of retaining their title, but the greater experience of the Emmett's won out in the end, as Cormac O'Doherty's accuracy from frees proved enough to see them through to the final.


Banagher had overcome the challenge of Lavey in the Semi-Final, but eventually fell to Slaughtneil on a scoreline of 2-12 to 0-10.


The Derry champions then suffered a shock defeat at Corrigan Park, relinquishing their Ulster title to Down kingpins St Joseph's Ballycran.


Intermediate Hurling Championship

Winners - Michael Davitt's Swatragh


After a lacklustre SHL campaign, where the Davitt's had finished second from bottom, they turned their poor form around, defeating first Na Magha in the Semi-Final and then clinching a one-point victory over Ballinascreen to seal the title.


St Colm's had seen off Eoghan Rua in their Junior/Intermediate play-off and after their own mediocre league campaign, came within a whisker of defeating Swatragh in the final.


Michael Davitt's went on to face Antrim champions St Gall's in the Ulster series, where they took the eventual champions to extra-time before bowing out.


Junior Hurling Championship

Winners - Na Magha


With the initial final taking place amid Eoghan Rua's SFC campaign and Na Magha already in Ulster as Derry representatives, it was almost inevitable that Murphy's Law would come into play and the game would end in a draw.


Na Magha found themselves in the JHC final after a loss to Swatragh, despite the best efforts of Deaglán Foley, while Eoghan Rua were defeated by Ballinascreen in their play-off.


Unfortunately, Eoghan Rua conceded the replay as they prepared to take on Lavey in the SFC final, much to the ire of the Derry city men who had already exited the Ulster JHC at the hands of Antrim champions Emmett's Cushendun.



U21 Hurling Championship

Winners - Kevin Lynch HC


In a hugely entertaining final, Kevin Lynch Hurling Club pipped Slaughtneil, with Senior players Tiarnan McHugh, Richie Mullan and Sean Kelly again starring after their minor heroics the previous week against Dunloy.


Emmett's had come through a Quarter-Final win over Lavey before seeing off Ballinascreen in a keenly contested Semi-Final, while Kevin Lynch's had received a bye to the final. With a Minor and U21 Championship in the bag, the future is looking bright for the young Lynch's.


Statistical Analysis


1. Clinical Kevin Lynch's and Shrewd Slaughtneil


Despite finishing third in the Derry SHL, Kevin Lynch's boasted the highest percentage of wins over both leagues, registering 100% in the MSHL. League and championship winners Slaughtneil had an overall win % of just 64.3%, but made sure that their victories counted to maximise their silverware haul.


2. CONC


The Derry MSHL was hit terribly by both concessions and unfulfilled fixtures, with 20% of the programme failing to materialise. Eoghan Ruadh Dungannon withdrew from the league after just two games, the demands of competing on so many fronts not matched by flexibility in the Derry hurling calendar. While this league is crucial in ensuring club hurlers get an adequate amount of games, its format may need to be looked at.


3. Green Flags are Golden


Although achieving the highest win percentage, Kevin Lynch's attempts to overturn Slaughtneil's recent dominance may have been hindered by their reluctance to raise green flags. Finding the net only nine times in the SHL, they were only the fourth-highest scoring team, while their points haul of 81 puts them in fifth place.


Ultimately, the goals conceded v goals scored contest yielded both league winners, with Kevin Lynch's (+4) and Slaughtneil (+6) boasting the best goal difference.


4. Defence First


On the other hand, the Lynch's had the best defensive record in the SHL, conceding only five goals, while also limiting their opponents to 62 points (77pts overall). St Mary's Banagher were a close second on 83pts, while their tenacity reduced their opponents to an impressive 56 points over the six games (9.3 pts per game).


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