The Last Night

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The Last Night

Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

A stunning second half performance saw Na Piarsaigh outscore Slaughtneil 2-9 into 1-2 to reserve a location in the All-Ireland club closing on St Patrick’daily.

The Limerick side were reduced to 13 players in the first half of Conor Boylan along with Tommy Grimes seeing red. However, Ronan Lynch dragged them using a person of the match performance hitting 0-14.

Slaughtneil captain Christopher McKaigue started the scoring in the second moment before Lynch responded instantly, winning a split and hammering his shot over the bar from 65 metres. Neither side may get forward for long in the opening phases as Brian Cassidy and Cormac O’Doherty traded scores using Lynch.

Mark Bradley edged the Derry champions ahead in the 10th minute before Brendan Rodgers’ amazing footwork watched him pulled back with Mike Casey leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty. Cormac O’Doherty awakened and sent a rasping effort to the roof of the internet lending his side a four point lead.

The Limerick side reacted with a near range Lynch free before Conor Boylan round his markers and rattled the upper corner of the internet, restoring parity.

Michael McShane’s facet needed an answer of their own and’s precisely what they got together with Meehaul McGrath firing over from meters. Rodgers claimed the next puck-out beating two men prior to playing Cassidy who shot the keeper rattling the upper left hand corner of the internet. The Ulster champions leading 2-6 to 1-6 at the break – forcing Shane O’Neill to spring Shane Dowling in the seat in a change which had the desirable effect.

Slaughtneil’s Brian Cassidy is dejected after the match. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Slaughtneil’s Brian Cassidy is sought after the match. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

It would end up being a real game of two halves as the Munster champions hit 1-5 without response to start the second halfof the Lynch exhibited a deadeye from frees as Grimes and Boylan saw crimson before Dowling and Kevin Downes joint for the latter to hit the internet.

Rodgers responded for the Derry side before Na Piarsaigh got a penalty in their own but Lynch’so campaign was rescued by Oisin O’Doherty.

In the 51st minute Dowling produced a minute of individual magic to block O’Doherty’s clearance swiping it off his hurl before flicking the ball on the ‘keeper’s head and sending out a rasping effort to the internet.

Cassidy then got a mere consolation goal for the Derry men firing low into the net before Lynch set the icing in the cake with an eye catching dent.

Na Piarsaigh march into the All-Ireland club closing on St Patrick’s evening running out 3-15 into 3-8 winners.

Slaughtneil: Oisin O’Doherty, Paul McNeil, Séan Cassidy, Karl McKaigue, Shane McGuigan, Meehaul McGrath (0-1), Cormac McKenna, Éanna Cassidy, Conor McAllister, Christopher McKaigue (0-1), Brendan Rodgers (0-1), Gerald Bradley (0-1), Cormac O’Doherty (1-2 2f), Mark McGuigan (0-1), Brian Cassidy (1-2).

Subs: Shane Dowling (1-0) to get Adrian Breen (HT), Kevin Ryan to get David Breen (54), Kieran Kennedy to get David Dempsey.

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