Slaughtneil advance past St Kiernan’s into All-Ireland SFC semis

Slaughtneil advance past St Kiernan’s into All-Ireland SFC semis

St Kiernan’s 0-5 Slaughtneil 2-11

Slaughtneil will play St Vincent’s in the semi-final of the All-Ireland Club Senior Football Championship after a comfortable victory over St Kiernan’s in Greenford, London, writes Jamie Casey.

After a shaky opening 10 minutes, the Ulster champions dominated for the remainder of the game thanks to first-half goals from Christopher Bradley and Meehaul McGrath.

London county champions St Kiernan’s, competing in their first All-Ireland quarter-final, finished the game with 14 men after midfielder James Moran received his second yellow card with 10 minutes remaining.

The hosts settled in much better in the opening stages with Michael O'Donoghue opening the scoring on six minutes.

A poor free from Shane McGuigan added to Slaughtneil's early frustrations, but a much-needed first score from corner forward Christopher Bradley paved the way for them to gain some composer, while McGuigan made amends for his earlier miss with the first of his three frees.

The home side’s confidence suffered a big blow when Christopher Bradley finished off a driving run from Padraig Cassidy with a low, neat finish with 23 minutes on the clock.

Three minutes later, St Kiernan’s were undone again, this time a misjudgement by the normally dependable Brendan Mulrooney in goal, with Meehaul McGrath getting the better of him in the air to palm home Slaughtneil’s second goal.

The visitors continued to build on their lead through points from Shane McGuigan and Cormac O’Doherty, both from play, while the hosts went into the break with just one score to their name at 2-5 to 0-1 down.

They re-emerged with some fight as talisman Adrian Moyles sailed over two frees, but anything St Kiernan’s offered was soon cancelled out by their opponents, as Slaughtneil added to their tally regularly through the free-taking of Shane McGuigan and Paul Bradley.

Two sets of triple substitutions didn’t disrupt their flow as the fresh legs brought a patient approach from Slaughtneil in the latter stages, manager Mickey Moran clearly having one eye on the clock.

Kiernan’s afternoon was summed up when Mayo native Moran received his marching orders for a second bookable offence on 50 minutes, but by then the London outfit were already a beaten side.

St Kiernan’s: B Mulrooney; K Curran, I McGough, D Quinn; P Begley, S Curran, M Mulholland; J Moran, C Og Greene; T Waters, A Moyles (0-3, 3fs), L O’Donoghue; D Ryan, P Finn, M O’Donoghue (0-1).

Subs: T Moriarty (0-1) for P Finn, 27mins; J Gallagher for D Ryan, 27mins; J Kingston for D Quinn, (black card) 39 mins;

Slaughtneil: A McMullan; Francis McEldowney, B Rogers, K McKaigue; P McNeil, C McKaigue, K Feeney; Patsy Bradley (0-1), P Cassidy; S McGuigan (0-4, 3fs), Paul Bradley (0-3, 2fs), M McGrath (1-0); C Bradley (1-2), S McGuigan, C Doherty (0-1).

Subs: P Kearney for Francis McEldowney, 52mins; S Cassidy for Patsy Bradley, 52mins; G Bradley for Paul Bradley, 52mins; R Bradley for M McGrath, 55mins; P Kelly for C O’Doherty, 55mins; Ferghal McEldowney for C Bradley, 55mins.

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).

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