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Slaughtneil into Croke Park final after they do it the hard way


By Daragh Ó Conchuir

Champtions Slaughtneil are back in the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie final but not for the first time in the past two campaigns, the Derry girls had to do it the hard way, needing extra time before getting the better of Kilkenny side Thomastown by 0-14 to 0-11 at Inniskeen Grattans.

And they will meet familiar opposition at Croke Park on March 4, as Sarsfields of Galways just edged out Tipperary's Burgess-Duharra 0-10 to 0-9 in Banagher to set up a repeat of last year's decider.

In the Intermediate Championship, another Galway side Athenry advanced to the decider by virtue of a 0-8 to 0-2 win over former champions Lismore (Waterford) in Coralstown Kinnegad and they will play reigning Junior champions Johnstownbridge, after the Kildare crew held off Eglish of Tyrone in Donaghmore Ashbourne by 2-5 to 0-9.

Unusually, the same four teams that participated in last year's Senior semi-finals made it through to the penultimate stages this time around although on this occasion, the pairings were different.

Slaughtneil had the benefit of a strong wind in the opening period and made good use of it, leading by 0-9 to 0-2 as they returned to the dressing rooms.

Thomastown came on strongly in the second half, chipping away at the deficit and drawing level at 0-10 apiece.

They could not carry that momentum forward into extra-time however, and with Siobhán McKaigue among the scorers, Slaughtneil used all their know-how to chisel out the win.

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