Slaughtneil turn on the power to storm past battling Kilcar
ULSTER champions Slaughtneil are closing in on a third title in four seasons, last night’s efficient dismissal of Kilcar underlining the formidable force that they are. A scoring blitz at the beginning of the second half blew away a promising challenge from the Donegal champions at Healy Park, with Sé McGuigan smashing home the goal that set the Derry men on their way.
Slaughtneil, with a mix of possession play and long, accurate kick-passing, were able to find gaps in a fortified Kilcar defence as they built up a five point lead by the end of the opening quarter.
Christopher Bradley (3) and Cormac O’Doherty, with two points, helped them build a sizeable advantage, but the warning signs were there when the Donegal men crafted a couple of golden goal chances.
First Paddy McBrearty darted through to bring a fine save from Antóin McMullan, then Karl McKaigue turned a Conor Doherty shot around a post.
And Kilcar began to deliver on that promise with a spectacular resurgence in the final 12 minutes of the half, outscoring the champions by seven points to one.
McBrearty built up a five points haul, and there were scores from Andrew McClean and Mark McHugh as they went ahead for the first time, leading by 0-8 to 0-7 at the break.
But the Emmets stepped up the tempo, hitting 1-6 in the opening 12 minutes of the second half, with Sé McGuigan rifling home the goal, and brothers Chrissy and Karl McKaigue bursting through from defence to land inspiring scores.
Kilcar were unable to match the desire, tenacity and ball retention of the defending champions, but Conor Doherty did force keeper McMullan into another splendid save, and they trimmed the deficit with scores from McBrearty, Matthew McClean and Eoin McHugh.
But the masters closed out the game with a second goal, palmed home by Bradley, and even a ten points haul from McBrearty was nowhere near enough.
UP FRONT: Slaughtneil’s Cormac O’Doherty ahead of Kilcar’s Pauric Carr