Slaughtneil 2-24 Portaferry 0-11
Portaferry were no match for Slaughtneil in Corrigan Park as the reigning provincial champions ran out easy winners in their Ulster SHC semi-final clash in Belfast.
The three-in-a-row chasers will take on Dunloy in two weeks' time for a chance to add to their legacy.
The Down champions Portaferry were last successful in 2014 before their Derry counterparts burst onto the scene in 2015. Slaughtneil have only missed one final since.
Cormac O'Doherty and Brian Cassidy have been pivotal to that continued excellence and both were sublime at times in the one-sided semi-final. Cassidy's late sideline cut was the icing of the cake after an inventive display.
Cassidy landed the first of two second-half goals for Mickey McShane’s side along with substitute Jerome McGuigan. Karol Keating’s team needed the goals the most but found the pace of the game too much in a tough second period.
Conor O’Prey came into the side at wing-forward and opened up an early lead for Portaferry.
They were full value for it too, but Finn Turpin whizzed over a beauty from the touchline to shake Slaughtneil from their slumber.
O’Doherty then got down to business with continued accuracy from frees, and the marksman would finish with nine in total.
With ten minutes left in the half it all clicked for the Derry champions. Cassidy walloped over three points as Slaughtneil led by double scores, 0-10 to 0-05, at half-time.
Slaughtneil put the match to bed early upon the resumption. Portaferry’s goalkeeper Pearse Smyth was unfortunate his excellent save from Shéa Cassidy’s low drive rebounded to Cassidy for a simple finish.
With O’Doherty topping up the Derry men's tally, O’Prey tried in vain the other end but it was the luxury of Jerome McGuigan goal off the bench that further showed the strength in depth McShane has on offer ahead of a mouthwatering Ulster final.
Portaferry: Pearse Smyth; Darragh Mallon, Tom Murray, Ronan Smyth; Barry Trainor, Caolan Taggart, Emmett O’Neill; Matthew Conlan, Shane Conlan; Finn Turpin 0-02, Connor Mageen, Conor O’Prey 0-04 (0-01f); Tom McGrattan 0-02, Daithí Sands 0-01, Ronan Blair 0-02 (0-02f).
Subs: Conor Fay for Blair (47), Padraig Doran for S Conlan (51), Ciaran Savage for Smyth (54), Niall Milligan for McGrattan (57).
Slaughtneil: Oisín O’Doherty; Paul McNeill, Chrissy McKaigue, Karl McKaigue; Seán Cassidy, Meehaul McGrath, Conor McAllister; Shane McGuigan 0-04, Cormac O’Doherty 0-09 (0-09f); Peter McCullagh 0-01, Brendan Rogers 0-03, Ruairí Ó’Mianáin; Brian Cassidy 1-07 (0-01s/l, 0-01f), Sé McGuigan, Shéa Cassidy.
Subs: Seán Ó’Caiside for S Cassidy (ht), Jerome McGuigan 1-00 for Sé McGuigan (43), Gerald Bradley for Shéa Cassidy (43), Mark McGuigan for Ó’Mianáin (47), Eamon Cassidy for Meehaul McGrath (58).
Referee: Colm McDonald (St Galls)