Magherafelt 0-12 Glen 0-11

Magherafelt secured their first Derry senior crown since 1978 in dramatic fashion in front of a packed Celtic Park on Sunday.

The Rossas were the better team throughout a tense affair and led 0-09 to 0-05 at the break but Watty Graham's will feel hard done by when referee John Joe Cleary's whistle sounded just as Ciaran McFaul was shooting, the Glen man's effort sailing between the posts for a point that would have tied the game. 

Glen protested to referee but to no avail.

Magherafelt were champions and deservedly so after a controlled display which probably should have seen them victorious well before the controversy of McFaul's point that never was.

The game was never a classic but finals are about winning and Magherafelt's game-plan worked to perfection against a Glen side hugely hindered by a misfiring kick-out.

Magherafelt retreated into their own '45' for the opening 10 minutes and Glen had moved the ball through the hands for a full three minutes before Danny Tallon ducked between two defenders to open his account for the afternoon with the game's first score.

A foul on Ryan Dougan seconds later allowed Paul Gunning to double the lead but somehow that second Glen point acted as a catalyst for Magherafelt to open up and only an impatient referee's whistle stopped them creating a gilt edged goal chance. 

Shane Heavron brilliantly plucked the ball out of the sky from a huge Odhran Lynch kick-out despite being fouled. He quickly spotted the unchecked run of brother, Danny, surging through the middle.

Danny collected easily and with a man over on his right, headed for the posts only to be stopped short with play brought it back for the initial free on Shane's catch.

Shane did split the posts with the resulting free but Magherafelt were left feeling short changed.

A second Shane Heavron free level by the 10th minute and suddenly Magherafelt were in control, helped in no small way by a misfiring Glen kick-out that was handing them back possession on almost every restart.

Glen nerves were calmed by two superb Alex Doherty points, the second a nonchalant effort off the outside of his right boot for a 0-4 to 0-2 lead they barely deserved.

Back came Magherafelt through Patrick McLarnon and another Heavron free to level only for Tallon to edge Magherafelt back in front once more at 0-5 to 0-4. That would be Glen's last score of the half however as Magherafelt feasted on the Glen kick-out.

Emmet McGuckin's point levelled before, twice in succession, possession won of Glen's kick-out brought Magherafelt points, the first through Anton McElhone, the second from John Young.

Another Shane Heavron free added to the Rossas' tally before a superb Fergal Duffin turnover inside his own '45' set in motion a flowing Magherafelt move that ended with Heavron fifth of the half, his first from play and an 0-09 to 0-05 interval lead.

The second half began with another Tallon point that was quickly cancelled out by Conor McCluskey marauding forward to fist over though a goal chance was on.

Alex Dohety, who was enjoying an assured game for Glen, sent over his third point of a productive afternoon but, as before, when Glen asked the question, Magherafelt answered, Emmet McGuckin this time out in front to turn, point and maintain the four point advantage.

Jack Doherty's point had brought it back once more when Conor Kearns was upended by McFaul as he broke through the middle. Referee Cleary was spot on signalling a penalty but Magherafelt couldn't take advantage, Shane Heavron's spot kick superb saved by Callum Mullan-Young.

That save galvanised Glen, Alex Doherty hitting his fourth score from play only to see Emmet McGuckin hit a huge response for Magherafelt.

Danny Tallon and Emmet Bradley pointed to leave only one between the sides before Tallon saw another effort drop short. Still the game continued with Heavron sending a free wide at the other end.

Glen launched one last attack but there would controversially be no time to finish it. Magherafelt were Derry champions for the first time in 41 years. The scenes at the final whistle suggest the celebrations might last just as long.

Glen: Callum Mullan-Young; Oran McGill, Ryan Dougan, Oisin Hegarty; Cathal Mulholland, Connor Carville, Ethan Doherty; Ciaran McFaul, Emmett Bradley (0-01, 0-01f); Conleth McGuckian, Jack Doherty (0-01), Danny Tallon (0-04); Paul Gunning (0-01, 0-01f), Alex Doherty (0-04), Emmet McGuckin.

Subs: Stevie O'Hare for  C McGuckian, (42); Tiernan Flanagan  for S O'Hara (inj), (50); Conor Convery for P Gunning, (56); Connlan Bradley for C McCabe, (59); John McCamley for C Convery (Black Card), (64); 

Magherafelt: Odhran Lynch; Simon McErlain, Darren O'Neill, Guiseppe Lupari; Conor McCloskey (0-01), Fergal Duffin, Conor Kearns; Jared Monaghan, Danny Heavron; Patrick McLarnon (0-01), Shane Heavron (0-05, 0-04f), John Young (0-01); Anton McElhone (0-01), Cormac Murphy, Emmet McGuckin (0-03).

Subs: Declan McCusker for A McElhone, (45); Declan Martin for P McLarnon, (50); Joe Keenan for G Lupari, (57); Sean Og Monaghan for J Young, (59); 

Referee: John Joe Cleary (Castledawson)