Ulster Club SFC quarter-final: Slaughtneil 0-11 0-09 Cavan Gaels

Christopher Bradley, who scored three of Slaughtneil's points, attempts to get past Cavan Gaels forward Michael Lyng
Cavan Gaels forward Michael Lyng is about to get in a challenge on Slaughtneil's Christopher Bradley

Slaughtneil edged into an Ulster Club SFC semi-final meeting with Clontibret as Cavan Gaels were left to rue a late missed free by Seanie Johnston.

The Derry champions looked in control as they led 0-9 to 0-4 at half-time but Gaels fought back to trail 0-10 to 0-9 after 53 minutes.

Johnston then had a 25-metre free to level at the start of injury-time but incredibly was to miss the chance.

Reprieved, Slaughtneil went down the field to notch a Gerard Bradley point.

The contest was very much a game of two halves.

Chrissy McKaigue relieved as Slaughtneil hold off Cavan Gaels

Slaughtneil bossed the first half as Patsy Bradley and Paudie McGuigan dominated the centre-field proceedings and the Cavan champions were forced to live off scraps in terms of possession.

The game was delayed for 30 minutes after the Ulster Intermediate Club encounter between Cloughaneely and Castledawson went to extra-time.

With Martin Dunne not introduced until the second half as he continues to recover from the hand injury he sustained in the summer, Gaels struggled in attack early on.

Christopher Bradley wasted a glorious goal chance for Slaughtneil in the ninth minute as he incredibly blasted over the bar after he had rounded the Gaels keeper.

Cavan's Robert Maloney-Derham did have a goal chance moments later but delayed his shot and was then fouled which resulted in a successful Johnston free.

Two Paul Bradley frees extended Slaughtneil's lead to 0-5 to 0-2 before Declan Meehan slotted a placed ball from 45 metres for the Cavan champions.

However, Slaughtneil finally began to turn their territorial domination into scores in the 10 minutes before half-time as they knocked four unanswered points with Paul Bradley bringing up his first-half tally to five.

Peter Canavan rues slow Cavan Gaels start in Slaughtneil game

Seanie Johnston responded with a Gaels points before the break but Slaughtneil looked in control at 0-9 to 0-4 ahead.

However, the introduction of Dunne. Paul Graham and Niall Smith by Peter Canavan rejuvenated the Cavan champions in the second half.

Two more Johnston frees left a kick of the ball between the sides by the 38th minute although Slaughtneil sub Cormac O'Doherty missed a glorious chance to stop the comeback in its tracks when he fired against the post from point-blank range five minutes later.

Slaughtneil looked to have steadied the ship with Christopher Bradley's third point of the day extended the margin to four with 12 minutes of normal time left.

However, that advantage had been halved within two points as impressive corner-back Niall Murray and sub Graham both pointed.

When Johnston slotted another free in the 53rd minute to cut the deficit to the minimum, Slaughtneil appeared to be desperately looking for the finishing line.

With a minute to go, Slaughtneil's Gerard Bradley had a glorious chance to put the match to bed as he gathered a poor kickout by Gaels keeper Martin Cassidy but he appeared indecisive whether to go low or high and lost possession.

Extra-time then appeared certain in the first minute of injury-time as Cavan's patient build-up led to a foul on Murray but incredibly Johnston, from a reasonably central position some 25 metres out completely fluffed the chance as the ball flew well wide.

Mightily relieved by the reprieve, Slaughtneil worked the ball downfield from the kick-out and Gerard Bradley kicked the insurance point.