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Hannon the hero as Slaughtneil storm to historic All-Ireland three in-a-row in the snow

The Offaly native fired 1-6 in a remarkable display against St Martin’s in Croke Park.

Tina Hannon was the star of the show.
Tina Hannon was the star of the show.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-9 

St. Martin’s (Wexford) 0-7

Emma Duffy reports from Croke Park 

THREE IN-A-ROW FOR Derry kingpins Slaughtneil, and another piece of history written by the club — this time in Croke Park.

A fascinating AIB All-Ireland senior club championship final battle finished in a five-point win over Wexford’s St Martin’s as they lifted the Bill and Agnes Carroll Cup in front of 4,564, while rain turned to sleet, and sleet turned to snow. 

Slaughtneil followed up 2017 and 2018 decider wins over Galway’s Sarsfields, and became just the fifth team to secure three titles in-a-row. They now join Kikenny’s St Paul’s (1968-70, 1987-89) and St Lachtain’s (2004-06), Pearses of Galway (2000-2002) and four in-a-row winners Buffers Alley (1981-84) in achieving the brilliant feat.

She was Player of the Match last year, and Tina Hannon earned the same title this time around after a flawless display in which she posted 1-6.

The Ní Chaiside siblings Aoife, Eilís and Bróna were also brilliant for Dominic McKinley and Damien McEldowney’s charges, while it was all too little too late for JJ Doyle’s St Martin’s as the wait for a first All-Ireland senior title goes on.

It was a dream start for Slaughtneil at HQ, as Hannon’s shot lobbed over Wexford legend Mags D’Arcy and into the back of the net with just three minutes on the clock. By six, Josie McMullan had tagged on a point — with St Martin’s yet to strike back.

Emma Codd did just that at the Hill 16 end, smashing an effort over the bar when the goal was perhaps on. 

Cue Hannon again — as the Offaly native took the game by the scruff of the neck in the 12th minute with a free. She followed that up seconds later with an influential point from play and from there, caused havoc for the St Martin’s defence.

Wexford star Chloe Foxe nailed a much-needed free to make it 1-3 to 0-2, before the Slaughtneil juggernaut rolled on through Hannon (two) and Sinéad Mellon.

With the early goal perhaps impeding on the game’s ignition, Linda Bolger’s 29th-minute point meant it was 1-6 to 0-3 going in at the break.

It was as you were on the restart, with Hannon splitting the posts for her fifth of the day — this time from the dead ball — before pulling the strings yet again, and setting Aoife Ní Chaiside up for a stunning point.

Grainne O’Kane and Siobhan Bradley lift the trophy Grainne O’Kane and Siobhan Bradley lift the trophy. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

35 minutes in and trailing by eight, St Martin’s really needed a boost and Foxe was the woman to give them just that with a well-taken free from distance. But Hannon soon cancelled that out with a free at the other end.

Then came a purple patch for St Martin’s. They took the shackles off and threw their lot at Slaughtneil. To no avail though. First, Bolger was deemed to be fouled in the area but the excellent Louise Dougan saved Foxe’s subsequent penalty.

Moments after, goalkeeper Jolene Bradley saved Codd’s shot on goal with a Bolger point sandwiched in between, and a Foxe free after to make it 1-9 to 0-6 on 55 minutes.

Lettie Whelan nabbed another late point but that turned out to be just a consolation as Slaughtneil captured three in-a-row in what looked like a snowglobe at the end.

Scorers for Slaughtneil: Tina Hannon (1-6, 4f), Josie McMullan (0-1), Sinéad Mellon (0-1), Aoife Ní Chaiside (0-1).

Scorers for St Martin’s: Emma Codd (0-1), Chloe Foxe (0-3, 2f), Linda Bolger (0-2), Lettie Whelan (0-1).

Slaughtneil

1. Jolene Bradley

2. Gráinne O’Kane (captain)
3. Brona Ní Chaiside
4. Ceat McEldowney

5. Eilis Ní Chaiside
6. Aoife Ní Chaiside
7. Bridín McAllister

8. Shannon Graham
9. Faoiltiarna Burke

10. Louise Dougan
11. Tina Hannon
12. Siobhán Bradley

13. Therese Mallon
14. Josie McMullan
15. Sinéad Mellon

Subs

18. Niamh Glass for Therese Mellon (56)
23. Cliodhna Ní Mhianáin for Josie McMullan (62)
19. Eilís McGrath for Shannon Graham (62)

St Martin’s

1. Mags D’Arcy

2. Aisling O’Connor
3. Noeleen Lambert
4. Marie Clare Morrissey

5. Áine Ennis
6. Katie O’Connor (captain)
7. Mary Barrett

8. Ciara O’Connor
9. Ella O’Connor

10. Amy Cardiff
11. Linda Bolger
12. Chloe Foxe

13. Emma Codd
18. Aisling Cronin
15. Lettie Whelan

Subs

17. Anna Hennessy for Ella O’Connor (40)
19. Lisa Firman for Áine Ennis (40)
14. Amy Ryan for Katie O’Connor (52)
29. Sarah O’Connor for Lettie Whelan (61)

Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Emma Duffy

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