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The O’Neills Derry Senior Football Championship semi-finals take place this weekend, with Slaughtneil, The Loup, Lavey and Glen all vying for their place in the final of this year’s county championship.
Slaughtneil will face fellow Group C graduates Lavey in the first scheduled semi-final on Saturday, October 30 at 6:45 pm.
The Loup and Glen, winners of Group A and D respectively, will battle it out for the second spot in the final on Halloween – Sunday, October 31 at 2:45 pm.
Both matches will be held at Owenbeg.
Slaughtneil v Lavey
Defending champions Slaughtneil are attempting to win their second John McLaughlin Cup in a row and achieve such a feat for the second time since 2017.
Standing in their way of a second successive appearance in the final is Lavey, who topped their group previous to the start of the knockout phase and put two goals past The Robbies in a three-point win back in September.
Cailean O’Boyle and the Downeys, Enda, Shea, Matthew and Callum, have been effective in attack for the challengers as the young side bring the most momentum into the tie.
Slaughtneil, however, bring the champions mentality into the game and, with the nature of the match taken into account, it can be expected that they will aim to right the wrongs of September and take down possibly their biggest threat to a seventh Derry SFC title.
Shane McGuigan has led the side in attack with his free-taking but their defence has allowed a goal in every game since their loss to Lavey.
Lavey, on the other hand, have only conceded two goals in the championship thus far but both sides have conceded less than 45 points – Lavey have conceded 41 while the champions have allowed 42.
The Loup v Glen
The only survivors of Group A and D have made it to the semi-final stage and will face each other for a spot in the county final.
The winners of Group A, The Loup, have been firing on all cylinders in attack but leaking scores at the back.
The work of the likes of Anthony O’Neill, as well as Ciaran and Cormac Devlin has countered the defence that has allowed five goals in five games, leading to high-scoring matches throughout the Derry Championship.
Glen have a much more impressive defence that has kept opposition scores below ten in all games they have played bar one – Kilrea put 3-8 past the Glen defence but lost in a group game in September.
The side have conceded only 44 points after five games, with 17 of those coming from one game.
Impeccable attacking performances from the likes of Paul Gunning and Danny Tallon have given the side a potent attack that has scored 107 points in just five games – the strongest in Derry.
However, The Loup are only a point behind in their overall attacking output, making this an exciting matchup of the two best attacking sides in the Oak-Leaf County.
Where To Watch
The two semi-finals will be available to watch on live streams, which can be accessed through 247.tv for a fee.