For all the vagaries on time keeping, Loughgiel manager PJ O’Mullan isn’t getting bogged down. He would rather focus on the fact that another game lies in store. For them. For Slaughtneil. For the game in general.
“It’s fantastic. We are going into Christmas month now and we are training for another Ulster final. I would say that game will bring both teams on today,” said the 2012 All-Ireland club hurling winning manager.
“They are two good teams. There has never been anything between them. They got the break of the ball a few days, we didn’t get anything or any of the breaks at all. None.
“Maybe we could get the break of the ball someday, and it will help us.”
In a game such as this, a goal would have been a massive score. The closest either team came to that was a rocket from Racquel Murphy on 36 minutes that Slaughtneil goalkeeper Jolene Bradley managed to keep out.
“Well, Racquel got three goals in the semi-final in Antrim and three goals in the final,” O’Mullan revealed.
“So she is well entitled to go for them, she has a powerful shot and there was one where the ‘keeper made a good save, another where it went wide. Some days they go in, some days they don’t, but you are not going to tell a marquee forward not to have a shot at goal if it is on.”
O’Mullan was clearly impressed with the quality on display, perhaps helped by the excellent state of the Ballymena All-Saints pitch at Slemish Park.
“I don’t think Ulster camogie gets the credit it deserves,” he stated.
“I think Antrim winning an All-Ireland this year will help. But in fairness, Slaughtneil have been at the top of the tree for four years now and for us to try to beat them you have to out-match them.
“You have to out-fight, out-work them. We went into that last quarter and we were a point down, we went a point up and they came back for two points in front. For our girls to go again, get an equaliser, it shows you how much they wanted it and how they were going to die with the boots on. And that’s what they done.”
The intensity of proceedings was not lost on Slaughtneil mentor, Mickey Glover.
“I think it is that the two teams know each other inside out, going hammer and tongs at each other for the last five, six years,” he said.
“Every day you go out with Loughgiel and ourselves, you are going to get that. It’s going to be a flick of the ball. A hook, somebody missing a dip, it is going to make the difference in the game.
“A few mistakes by us, they got the scores, the same for them.
“It probably wasn’t a game there were too many goal chances. There was a lot of heavy tackling and the ball got stuck in the ruck. But I think in general you will always get that because we know each other so well.”
He added about Loughgiel’s impressive fitness levels; “I think in general they had had to change in how they prepare. We have been training the last number of years three times a week, all the additional stuff, players looking after themselves. It’d been a mentality change.
“Even though it’s club, those girls in both clubs are so good at what they do. It’s always going to be a ding dong battle.”
All back to Glen, Maghera on Sunday for the replay.