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Slaughtneil fully focused on achieving unique feat

By John Campbell

The gauntlet has been thrown down to Slaughtneil in their bid to retain the Derry senior football championship title - and from within their own club, too.

Slaughtneil have already kept their grip on the county senior hurling title which they won last year and now the footballers are being challenged to make it a 'double double' for the south Derry outfit.

It would be a remarkable achievement by any standards since most Ulster clubs prefer to favour one code to the virtual exclusion of the other.

But Slaughtneil's ability to dominate in both hurling and football lately emanates from the fact that they have fiercely committed players who continue to make considerable sacrifices.

Right now, they are strongly focused on making it back-to-back football titles when they meet Eoghan Rua Coleraine in Sunday's final at Celtic Park.

This, too, even though Gerard Bradley and Paudie McGuigan are long-term injury victims, both currently recovering from cruciate ligament damage.

Chrissy McKaigue captained the hurling team to their second title on the trot and is a key figure in defence for Sunday's football showdown against a Coleraine team with a sharp appetite for repeating their 2010 triumph.

"While it's great to be in another final we cannot take anything for granted," says McKaigue. "Coleraine will feel they have a good chance of winning and who can blame them after the way in which they beat Ballinderry in their semi-final."

Assistant manager John Joe Kearney adds: "We would love to make it a double double.

"It's a pity Gerard Bradley and Paudie McGuigan miss out and we hope they can get back to full fitness.

"We are looking no further than Sunday's game."

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