Semi-final spots up for grabs as Derry SHC group stages conclude
THE group stages of the Derry Senior Hurling Championship conclude tomorrow with one semi-final place up for grabs.
Ballinascreen host Kevin Lynch's in a game that will determine top spot in Group B, with both already having their semi-final spots booked.
Champions Slaughtneil are also safely through to the last four, with Lavey and Swatragh vying for the last berth from Group A.
Should Swatragh shock the champions at Emmet Park and Lavey pick up an expected away win in Na Magha, it will come down to score difference.
Slaughtneil v Swatragh (2.30pm)
Na Magha v Lavey (2.30pm)
Late goals from Segdae Melaugh and Ciaran Hendry earned Lavey an unlikely draw in Swatragh when Liam Watson's side appeared dead and buried.
Lavey's defence is backboned by Brendan Laverty and Eamon McGill, with Hendry playing as an extra man around the middle. In attack Fintan Bradley and newcomer Melaugh are their key attackers.
It's unlikely Na Magha – who lost both of their previous games convincingly – will overturn the visitors. The city side have replied on county star Deaglan Foley (1-10) for the bulk of their scores.
Fintan McGurk, Declan and Sean Martin Quinn have been the leading scorers for Swatragh so far. They'll have to put the disappointment of letting their winning position against Lavey to the back of their mind tomorrow.
The Emmet's could call on Meehaul McGrath after he played for the club's footballers last weekend on his return from injury.
Sean Cassidy (groin) and Seán Ó Caiside (knee) are still on their way back. Manager Michael McShane wasn't expecting them to be in contention.
Brendan Rogers (fractured hand), Gerald Bradley (hamstring) and Cormac O'Doherty (shoulder) didn't feature in their win over Lavey, with skipper O'Doherty the only one togged out.
It's hard to make a case for the Emmet's having any bother, but the Twittersphere score updates will dominate the afternoon with score difference defining the group.
Ballinascreen v Kevin Lynch's (2pm)
Coleraine v Banagher (2pm)
The other group is done and dusted, with top spot all that is up for grabs and with the runner-up likely to face a semi-final against champions Slaughtneil.
Corey O'Reilly has made a return to the Lynch's roster this season, with Tiarnán McHugh swapping an inside forward role to a spot in the half back line alongside top scorer Richie Mullan.
John Mullan (2-4) has been the leader of an attack that also includes Odhran McKeever.
After a two-point win over Banagher, Ballinascreen easily accounted for Coleraine with Eamon Conway, Cormac Gough and Paul Cleary playing key roles, but Kevin Lynch's will be tipped to advance.
The final game pits Ulster intermediate champions Banagher up against Coleraine. With both teams out of the senior race.
The bottom two teams from each section enter the qualifier round, with the losers advancing to the junior final, while the winners join the beaten senior semi-finalists in the intermediate semi-finals.