Slaughtneil's defeat in Derry leaves Ulster club championship wide open 1 year ago

Slaughtneil's defeat in Derry leaves Ulster club championship wide open

Five-in-a-row chasing Slaughtneil have crashed out of the Derry SFC after a quarter final replay defeat to Eoghan Rua.

At one stage Eoghan Rua trailed by seven points, with Liam McGoldrick's 64th minute winner marking the first time the Coleraine side led the match.

It was Slaughtneil who started the brighter racing into an early lead. However, Eoghan Rua dominated second half, restricting the champions to three solitary points.

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As the Coleraine side began to grab a foothold of the game, Colm McGoldrick netted to leave one between the sides, before grabbing a point to level the game up.

It was then left to brother Liam to hit the decisive score to send Eoghan Rua into the final four where they will meet Ballinascreen.

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The defeat means that many can now put their sole concentration into the hurlers as the attempt to regain the Ulster club hurling championship.

However, Slaughtneil's loss now leaves the Ulster club football championship wide open.

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How Ulster looks now.

The South Derry side were chasing their third Ulster club title in a row, and would have been many people's favourites to complete the trilogy given the dominant fashion in which they won the last two.

Alongside Slaughtneil, five other county champions have relinquished their crowns in 2018;

  • Omagh St. Enda's (Tyrone)
  • Armagh Harps (Armagh)
  • Kilcar (Donegal)
  • Cavan Gaels (Cavan)
  • Lámh Dhearg (Antrim)

Fermanagh are the only county that have finished their championship so far as favourite's Derrygonnelly Harps lifted their fourth title in a row.

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The remainder of the county championships are still to finalised.

Despite the loss of some big clubs, there is still some stiff competition lurking in the shadows; including Ulster kingpins Crossmaglen Rangers.

However, the 11-time Ulster champions will more than likely have to get past 2016 winners, Maghery if they are to have a crack at a 12th title.

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Michael Murphy's club Glenswilly will also have a huge saying on matters, if they can get past the attentions of Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal.

In Tyrone, Killyclogher look the best bet having beaten St. Enda's at the weekend, but Coalisland should have something to say about that.

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In Antrim, Lámh Dhearg have fallen, but Cargin and St. Galls remain, two teams who have Ulster club football pedigree.

Kilcoo are gunning for their seventh Down title in a row. If they can get past Burren in the final then they will be confident that this is the year they finally land that coveted Ulster crown.

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It is all to play for in Cavan, who will crown a different champion for the fourth year in a row having lost the three previous winners already.

Scotstown meet Ballybay in the final of the Monaghan SFC. Scotstown contested an Ulster club final only three years ago and will feel they are strong enough to make it back once more.

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The favourites are gone, it is all to play for!

The exciting part is, the county championships still aren't over.

One suspects there will be many twists and turns ahead.