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Same again as McKaigue seals final date for Slaughtneil



Offaly star Tina Hannon

Offaly star Tina Hannon

Offaly star Tina Hannon

Champions Slaughtneil are back in the AIB All-Ireland Senior Club 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.

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.

Offaly star Tina Hannon has been a great addition to the Derry club since moving north and her prowess was much in evidence as she fired over five points.

Thomastown, inspired by the Farrell sisters, came on strongly in the second-half with the elements in their favour and they took over completely, 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, they used all their big-game know-how to chisel out the win.

Slaughtneil will meet familiar opposition at Croke Park on March 4, as Sarsfields of Galway 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, 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. 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.

Irish Independent