Following on from our piece on the Derry Mid Season Hurling League, we now have a look at how the Senior Hurling League transpired.
Robert Emmett's Slaughtneil continued their formidable form by clinching the title with a victory over Kevin Lynch HC in what was effect the final in mid-August. They did however have to recover from an early setback as they suffered defeat against Banagher in Round 3.
The competition also acts as a qualifier for the Derry Hurling championship and as the top two, Slaughtneil and Banagher were seeded for the Semi-Final draw.
1st - Robert Emmett's Slaughtneil - 10pts
The highest goalscorers with 13 goals, the Robbies sealed victory with that late win over Kevin Lynch's and set themselves up nicely to retain their county championship title. Their one defeat came early in the league against free-scoring St Mary's Banagher, but it was to be their only loss as they finished with a win % of 83.3.
2nd - St Mary's Banagher - 9pts
The league's highest scorers and boasting the meanest defence, the Feeny men can count themselves unlucky not to have taken the title, having inflicted champions Slaughtneil's only loss of the campaign. The power of Kevin Lynch's eventually derailed their title aspirations, but they can take some comfort from finishing above them in second place.
3rd - Kevin Lynch Hurling Club - 9pts
Having taken the MSHL title with a 100% record, Kevin Lynch's would have had high hopes of adding the Senior Hurling League title to their record, but Geoffrey McGonigle's charges had to settle for third place after defeat to eventual winners Slaughtneil. Their opening day 1-10 apiece draw with Banagher also hindered their challenge, but it was still in their hands going into the final game with Robert Emmett's, who proved a step too far for the Lynch's.
4th - Erin's Own, Lavey - 8pts
Lavey started the campaign brightly with a victory over Swatragh, but defeats to big hitters Slaughtneil and Kevin Lynch's proved a setback for the Erin's Own men. They found their clinical edge in the next game however, firing four past the competition's meanest defence to defeat Banagher 4-08 to 0-18, before ending the league with wins over Ballinascreen and Eoghan Rua to see them finishing in 4th place.
5th - St Colm's Ballinascreen - 2pts
After a solid MSHL campaign, St Colm's will be disappointed with how they fared in the Senior Hurling League, their only victory coming Eoghan Rua. Their opener against Slaughtneil will feel like an opportunity missed as they were narrowly defeated by a single goal.
6th - Michael Davitt's Swatragh - 2pts
It took until their fifth game of the competition before Swatragh tasted victory, turning over St Colm's Ballinascreen at Davitt Park in what was their highest-scoring performance in a campaign where they struggled to convert chances. Finding the net only twice, they were the league's lowest goalscorers and indeed had the leakiest defence by far, conceding 17 goals, finishing off the bottom only by virtue of scoring significantly more points than Eoghan Rua.
7th - Eoghan Rua - 2pts
While their footballers tasted SFC glory, the hurlers of Eoghan Rua struggled throughout the league, only managing to raise 54 white flags along the way. Their solitary victory was over Swatragh, where a one-point deficit was enough to see them clinch their only league points in what was their final game of the competition.