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Michael McShane felt his Slaughtneil side were 'awesome' in a ruthless third quarter against Ballinascreen

The Emmet's boss hails the impact of Cormac O'Doherty and Jerome McGuigan

Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane only has eyes on retaining the Derry title

Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane. (Pic: John McIlwaine)

Slaughtneil hurling manager Michael McShane described his side's performance as 'awesome' in the period coming up to half time in Sunday's landslide championship win over Ballinascreen.

On the flip side, he wasn't happy with the opening 18 minutes, when he felt their shot selection and decision making left a lot to be desired.

“When we went out after the water break, that next 12 minutes was when we really hit top gear and we were awesome, hitting 3-7 to no reply to effectively kill the game,” he said of their 6-25 to 1-11 victory.

McShane was pleased with how his side built on their 3-13 to 0-4 interval lead against the breeze in the second half.

Like their footballers, Slaughtneil have been used to playing on their more expansive bottom pitch, which was being rested in the off-season.

“We were playing on a tighter pitch (Emmet Park main pitch) than Owenbeg and you have to work that bit harder to make the space and we did create it in the second quarter,” McShane added, while stressing how well Ballinascreen got in around them.

In the second half, Brendan Rogers added a fourth goal before Jerome McGuigan grabbed 2-1 inside two minutes in another purple patch from the champions.

“I thought Jerome was absolutely awesome,” McShane said. “I know he ended up with a red card for a moment of madness on his part and it is something he will learn from.

“I thought his performance up to that was absolutely top class, he was absolutely unplayable and that's why he came in for a bit of harsh, up close and personal treatment...they had no other way of stopping him.

“He made an unbelievable run in the first half and he left them all in his wake.  He had bad luck when we tried to finish it and it hit the 'keeper.”

Slaughtneil appeared to pull their half forward line deeper to maximise space and on top of Cormac O'Doherty's 1-10 tally, he was picking passes and dictating the game.

“I always felt there was an extra 10 or 15 percent we could we get out of Cormac,” McShane stated. “This year he has stepped up and we are getting that.

“I thought he was fantastic...his vision, his link play and his ability in the rucks to come out with the ball is second to none. He is the new captain of the team, he has that responsibility on his shoulders and he seems to be thriving on it and long may it continue.”

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