Derry title-holders Ballinderry Shamrocks were crowned Ulster Club champions for the third time following their 1-13 to 2-06 win over Donegal champions Glenswilly at Healy Park.
Michael Murphy grabbed a Glenswilly goal after just 25 seconds, but a Michael McIver goal sent Ballinderry in with a 1-06 to 1-02 interval lead.
Murphy sent Caolan Kelly in to net Glenswilly’s second goal, but the Derry men took control with points from Colin Devlin, Dermot McGuckin and James Conway.
In the end, the vast experience and the strength of their bench carried the Shamrocks through against a club founded just 31 years ago, and making a first Ulster final appearance.
A sensational start saw Murphy grab a goal in the first minute. He was forced wide by Ciaran Bonner’s less than perfect pass, but cut inside to deceive goalkeeper Michael Conlan with a dipping shot that dropped into the far corner of the net.
Donegal’s All-Ireland winning captain stroked over a ’45, but Ballinderry reorganised at the back and started to take the game to their opponents, registering their first score in the 11th minute through Colin Devlin.
James Conway and Dermot McGuckin added long-range scores for the Derry champions, but they trailed by two after Murphy’s superb pass sent Caolan Kelly in to score.
But the final ten minutes of the half belonged to the Shamrocks, who shot 1-02 without reply to take a hold on the contest.
Kevin McGuckin and James Conway started to get on the ball around the middle, and with Darren Lawn and Conor Nevin pressing from deep, they had their opponents on the back foot.
Their patient build-up had the Glen defence in serious trouble, but it was a route one ball from James Conway that set up their 26th-minute goal.
Ryan Bell collected, his shot for a point was half blocked by Eamon Ward, and McIver nipped in to finish the loose ball to the net.
Converted frees from Kelly and Conleith Gilligan were followed by a delightful long range point from McGuckin as the men from the shore of Lough Neagh went in at the interval with a 1-06 to 1-02 lead.
But the Donegal champions exploded into action at the start of the second half, hitting 1-02 inside the opening three minutes.
Murphy was of course central to all their positive output, providing the unselfish final pass for Kelly to crash home their second goal.
Murphy floated over a magnificent point, to bring the sides level, and played a key role in the move that saw Darren McGinley edge them back in front.
Ballinderry regained the lead with Devlin’s fourth point of the afternoon, and a trio of substitutes made a big impact, with Aaron Devlin and Darren Conway both hitting points and Enda Muldoon making his vast experience count in the closing stages.
The Donegal men managed just one point in the final 20 minutes, unable to match the intensity that their opponents brought to the contest
Murphy was starved of possession in the latter stages, but did manage another superlative score to give his side some hope.
However, with a raft of replacements giving the Derry men sharpness and freshness, the title was on its way back to the lough shore, with late scores from Darren Conway and Gilligan clinching a deserved triumph.
Ballnderry: M Conlon, R Scott, C Nevin, M McIver (01-00), R Wilson, G McKinless, D Lawn, K McGuckin, J Conway (00-02), D McKinless (00-01), K ‘Moss’ McGuckin, D McGuckin (00-02), C Devlin (00-4, 1f), R Bell, C Gilligan (00-02, 2f).
Subs: A Devlin (00-01) for Lawn, E Muldoon for KM McGuckin, D Conway (00-01) for McIver, R Wilkinson for C Devlin, D McGeehan for G McKinless
Glenswilly: P O’Donnell, B McDaid, E Ward, J McFadden, Caolan Kelly (01-01), R Crawford, JP McDaid, N Gallagher, C Bonner, J Gibbons, K McFadden, G McFadden, Colin Kelly (00-01), M Murphy (01-03, 1 ’45), D McGinley (00-01).
Subs: A McDevitt for J McFadden, B Farrelly for C McFadden, B Molloy for McDaid, L Kelly for Gibbons
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).
Elsewwhere, Truagh of Monaghan beat Tyrone’s Eskra Emmets in the Ulster Club IFC final yesterday, while Emyvale, also of Monaghan, beat Killeeshil in the JFC decider.