By Francis Mooney
Slaughtneil and Omagh will meet in the Ulster Club SFC final on November 30, after both clubs reached the decider for the first time.
The Derry champions scored a 1-9 to 0-7 win over Clontibret at Healy Park, while the Tyrone champions saw off St Eundan’s Letterkenny by 1-8 to 0-8 at Celtic Park.
Slaughtneil full forward Paul Bradley came up with the goods on a historic day for the Emmets, hitting six points in a brilliant display of finishing.
And with Clontibret danger man Conor McManus well marshalled by Karl McKaigue and restricted to just one point from play, the Monaghan men struggled for scores all afternoon.
Christopher Bradley smacked home the only goal of the game two minutes into the second half, and from there to the end, the Derry champions never looked like losing.
Slaughtneil were three points ahead inside the opening ten minutes, with Ronan Bradley, Paul Bradley and Cormac O’Doherty all on target.
Clontibret finally got their opening score in the 13th minute when McManus converted a free, and he narrowed the gap to one at the beginning of the second quarter.
Clontibret should have had a goal when Eoin Greenan crossed for Ryan McGuigan at the far post, but his palmed effort was easily dealt with by goalkeeper Anton McMullan.
The Monaghan men managed just three points in the first half, all from McManus frees, but they trailed by just two at the break, 0-5 to 0-3.
Slaughtneil grabbed the game’s only goal two minutes into the second half, Francis McEldowney sending Christopher Bradley through for a crisp finish to the bottom corner of the net.
That score was the cushion which enabled them to control the game and keep their noses in front right to the end.
Meanwhile, at Celtic Park, Barry Tierney’s first half goal was the key score as Tyrone champions Omagh booked their place in the decider.
Ronan O’Neill was the creator, and added a couple of points himself as Omagh went in at the break leading by 1-5 to 0-5.
Jason McAnulla opened up a four points gap, before the Donegal men fought back with points from Rory Kavanagh and Sean McVeigh.
But Conor McMahon sealed a historic victory for the Red Hand men with his third point of the game.