Slaughtneil vow to take it one game at a time in either code
If there is one thing Slaughtneil will not be lacking as they prepare for their Ulster senior hurling semi-final this Sunday against Middletown of Armagh (Newry, 2.30pm), it is match practise.
Manager Michael McShane reveals that no fewer than a dozen of his hurlers will be on the Slaughtneil football panel that are set to contest the Derry senior football final the following Sunday, against the Loup.
"It's two sides of the same coin," the Ballycastle man said.
"As a hurling manager, you would like to be getting two or three hurling training sessions a week in between games. And then in the weeks leading up to the games you would love to do extra with the guys."
He explained: "This week, they are concentrating on hurling and they are not playing football. Next week, they will go and concentrate on the football.
"The good side of it is that guys are winning and that brings a great momentum with it. Over the last few years, while I have been with Slaughtneil, I have seen a great benefit to that momentum and the spirit it brings to the whole club and not just to the team."
While he admits that Banagher gave them a tough run in the Derry final, Ulster club action is a step up again. He insists they are taking nothing for granted in facing last year's finalists Middletown, with the likes of the talented Nathan Curry and Cahal Carville among their ranks.
He added: "A lot of people looking in from the outside would think it an awful burden or an awful workload we have. But it is a nice thing to have, and one the players embrace."