Slaughtneil make it 10 out of 10 on mixed afternoon for dual clubs

Derry champions and Naas still on trail of double success but Loughmore-Castleiney bow out in Tipperary hurling

Renowned dual club Slaughtneil duly recorded a 10th successive Derry hurling title, defeating Kevin Lynch’s 2-18 to 1-8 in Sunday’s county final. It wasn’t all plain sailing and they trailed at half-time before pulling away.

It was a big day for three of the club’s representatives in Derry’s Ulster football title success, All Stars nominees Chrissy McKaigue – an ever-present on all 10 winning teams – Brendan Rogers and Shane McGuigan, who played influential roles.

Rogers came back from injury off the bench to fire the second-half revival, including the team’s second goal, whereas McGuigan was named Man of the Match.

Slaughtneil will face the Down champions, yet to be decided, as they go for another Ulster championship and what would be a fifth title in six years. Last season they ran eventual All-Ireland winners Ballygunner close in the semi-final.


Their footballers, three times Ulster champions themselves, are still on the move and play Swatragh in next Saturday’s county semi-final.

In Kildare, Naas retained their hurling title with a 0-20 to 0-12 win over Maynooth and in a fortnight get the opportunity to replicate last year’s double when they take on Clane in the county football final.

It wasn’t all good news for the dual clubs, however, as last year’s marathon men Loughmore-Castleiney, who between winning Tipperary football and hurling titles, played every week for nearly six months in 2021, exited the hurling championship.

Having reached the football semi-finals last week, they lost the hurling crown on Saturday, losing by 0-21 to 0-18 to Séamus Callanan’s Drom & Inch, who were drawn on Sunday to face 2020 champions Kiladangan in the semi-final. Upperchurch Drombane will take on Kilruane McDonaghs.

Kiladangan brought to an end on Saturday a desperately sad championship campaign for Clonoulty-Rossmore, who were back in FBD Semple Stadium for the first time since the terrible events of last August when Dillon Quirke died after becoming unwell on the pitch.

Cork’s hurling final took shape with the emergence of a comparatively rare pairing. Champions of two years ago, Blackrock, were comfortable nine-point winners, 3-21 to 0-21, against Erins Own in the first semi-final with county forward Alan Connolly getting 0-9, six from play.

There they will face city rivals St Finbarr’s in a final for the first time in 40 years. It will be the Barrs’ first final since their 25th title in 1993. They ended up with 11 points to spare over former All-Ireland champions Newtownshandrum in the second semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The emphatic scoreline, 2-25 to 0-20, was partly explained by Newtown’s being reduced to 13 players but, after an explosive start by the winners, Newtown were trailing badly by the time Conor Twomey was red-carded in the first half and despite a revival, St Finbarr’s got a second goal, by Ben Cunningham before Mattie Ryan was sent off later in the match.

Donegal have one of their football finalists identified. In Sunday’s semi-final Naomh Conaill defeated Gaoth Dobhair 1-13 to 1-8 to reach a sixth successive county final and a seventh in eight years. Their goal came from Dónal MacGiolla Bríde and they will face either St Eunan’s or Kilcar in the final.

The semi-final between the clubs was postponed because of bereavements in the family of former Eunan’s player Brendan Devenney.

Finally, what had started as a memorable weekend for Portlaoise when their own Zach Tuohy, together with Geelong team-mate Dingle’s Mark O’Connor, became the latest Irish players to win an AFL Premiership and who flew a Portlaoise flag at the MCG, ended on a muted note when county champions Portarlington came late to edge them out, 0-9 to 0-8 in the Laois football semi-final.

The winners will take on O’Dempseys, who beat Courtwood 1-16 to 0-11, to reach a first final in four years.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times