Sports

Slaughtneil go for the ‘double’ in Croke Park

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Slaughtneil go for the ‘double’ in Croke Park thumbnailChrissy McKaigue pictured ahead of Slaughtneil’s clash with Dr. Crokes in the AIB GAA Senior Football Club Championship Final in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day.

THE Slaughtneil club already has an All-Ireland title in the trophy cabinet back home with their camogs coming up trumps just over a week ago and their footballers will be aiming to double up as they take on Kerry champions Dr Crokes in the St Patrick's Day final in Croke Park.
There is no doubt that historic and emotional win by the camogs, a first ever senior camogie All-Irealnd title for a Derry club, will be a huge boost for the footballers as centre back Chrissy McCaigue suggested.
“We can't but be inspired by what the girls did," he said.
“First Derry club to win a senior All-Ireland camogie title. It was just unbelievable. The club just keep setting new records which is fantastic.
“The footballers and hurlers have seen at first hand what the girls have done in terms of application, commitment and work and that's why good things have happened to them -because of the work."
It was a huge performance from McKaigue that went some way to get Slaughtneil into the final. He was outstanding in their semi-final win over St Vincent's, scoring four valuable points while keeping the Dublin side's talisman Diarmuid Connolly pretty quiet - he managed just a single point.
A similar display on St Patrick's Day will be needed from McKaigue and, indeed, the entire Slaughtneil team if they are to emulate their camogs. This is the Slaughtneil mens' second tilt at All-Ireland final glory in four years, they were beaten by a superb Corofin side back in 2014, an experience that McKaigue believes they can reflect on and benefit from.
“Looking back on it now with a clear head we weren't physically ready that day. We were beaten by an exceptional team. For us to have truly competed that day we would have needed everybody fully fit and fully flying.
“We just didn't perform but Corofin were deserving champions. We are in a much better place now with more experience, both mentally and physically. What happened in 2014 has galvanised us to an extent because when a club wins its first provincial title you are entering the unknown and you don't know what to expect.
“We now know what to expect; it is not going to be easy but at least we know what it is going to take."
Certainly Slaughtneil will know it is not going to be easy beating a team of the calibre of Dr Crokes. The Kerry men were just as impressive as the Emmets were in their semi-final win when they beat a very good Corofin side 2-11 to 0-8.
A goal from Gavin O'Shea helped the Kerry champions lead by double scores, 1-7 to 0-5, at the interval. A second goal from substitute Jordan Kiely proved decisive as Crokes strode into the final.

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