Hurling and camogie

Difficult to see Slaughtneil camogie squad slipping up against Ballinascreen

Séamas McAleenan

Derry Senior camogie final: Sunday 2.30pm: Glen: Slaughtneil v Ballinscreen

TOMORROW'S Derry senior camogie championship final is a repeat of last year's decider – but so much has changed in the interim.

Slaughtneil completed back to back titles last September by defeating Ballinascreen on double-scores, 2-8 to 1-4, before going on to collect a first Ulster title and then in February become only the second Ulster club to Rossa to take the All-Ireland trophy.

While Ballinascreen backed their neighbours once they entered the All-Ireland arena, they have spent the last few months plotting to dethrone the Emmett's and take just their second domestic crown 23 years after their first.

But the ‘Screen face a huge obstacle with Slaughtneil winning each of the championship matches to date by 20-point margins.

The champions have lost midfield general Shannon Graham and ace goal-poacher Mary Kelly to travelling.

Both delayed their departures to assist in the All-Ireland run, and both contributed handsomely in Croke Park.

However straight into the team has come Offaly senior player Tina Hannon who is working in the area. The Mellon cousins, Sinead and Therese, who were in and out of starting teams last season are also permanent fixtures and both are finding the net with regularity.

Ballinascreen by contrast have had much closer games en route to the decider, including a 3-11 to 3-8 semi-final battle with Swatragh, decided by a late goal from Noeleen McBride.

Their season has been a little more topsy-turvy as they accommodated dual players, who also reached the county senior final, where they were beaten a fortnight ago by Steelstown.

Four of them were on the Derry team that drew with Fermanagh in Croke Park on Sunday last with Jackie and Dania Donnelly featuring prominently in positions they also hold for the club camogs, Dania at centre-half back and Jackie up front where she can hit the net.

As with last season, Ballinascreen are expected to mount a serious challenge spearheaded by captain Aine McAllister at centre-forward.

However it is difficult seeing Slaughtneil slipping up such is the leadership and drive in the team provided by the Cassidy sisters, Louise Dougan and Tina Hannon. There is also little chance of complacency as they will want to insert the missing piece and complete the domestic treble of hurling, football and camogie once more.

Sorry, Ballinascreen it looks to be more disappointment with a repeat of last week and last year.

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Hurling and camogie

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