Slaughtneil too strong for depleted Eoghan Rua

JUST a week ahead of their county senior football final Eoghan Rua faced Slaughtneil in the penultimate league game of the season at a sunny Pairc Eoghain Rua early last Sunday afternoon.

While Slaughtneil were close to full strength there was no real surprise that the Eoghan Rua management opted to line out a much changed side from their previous outings.

Unfortunately for the home side, Slaughtneil proved much too strong as they ran out comfortable winners on a score of 3-12 to 0-4.

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The visitors dominated the exchanges from start to finish with the likes of Patsy Bradley, superb in midfield even if he was only on for the first half, the McEldowneys, Francis and Fergal, Enda McKaigue and Shane Kelly all flying.

Indeed such was the strength of the Slaughtneil challenge that when Patsy Bradley was substituted at half time the replacement proved to be no slouch.

In came Chrissy McKaigue who is home from his day job in Australia playing Aussie Rules footie for the Sydney Swans, not a bad replacement when your side is already 2-8 to 0-1 ahead at the break.

Slaughtneil's first goal came in the 15th minute when they were already five points to nil ahead, Fergal McEldowney blasting home.

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The visitors had moved to 1-8 to nil before Leo Sweeney got the scoreboard turning over for Eoghan Rua with a point in the 24th minute.

However Slaughtneil's reply was swift as they were awarded a penalty that was drilled to the net by Enda McKaigue leaving the south Derry men 2-8 to 0-1 ahead at the break.

The sides exchanged points early in the second half, Leo Sweeney again from a free getting Eoghan Rua's second point while Ronan Bradley replied for Slaughtneil.

Slaughtneil added a couple more points before Hugh Casey soloed through for a neat point. While there was never any doubt as to where the league points were going Peadar Kearney goaled nine minutes from time to add to the home side's woes.

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Conor Carey had the last score of the game for the home side, a fine individual point, as Eoghan Rua succumbed to their biggest defeat of the season.

Still it made no difference to the top of the table as other results at the weekend ensured the top four Division 1 play-off places would be secured by Ballinderry, Slaughtneil, Eoghan Rua and Ballinascreen.

Eoghan Rua: Leo Sweeney (0-2 frees), Conor Carey (0-1), Hugh Casey (0-1).

Slaughtneil scorers: Enda McKaigue (1-5, 0-1 free), Fergal McEldowney (1-0), Peadar Kearney (1-0), Ronan Bradley (0-3), Francis McEldowney (0-2), Michael Kearney (0-1 free), Shane Kelly (0-1).

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