A break of the ball and a bit of self belief might do the trick

2021 Ulster Senior Club Camogie Final @ Lavey

Loughgiel v Slaughtneil

Loughgiel will be looking for a change of luck when they take on Slaughtneil in tomorrow’s 2021 Ulster Senior Camogie final in Lavey. Throw-in 1pm.

2015 is the last time the Shamrocks lowered the colours of Slaughtneil, Una McNaughton captaining the team to victory in Armagh Athletic Grounds. Since then it has been the Derry champions who have held the upper hand, the girls in maroon adding three All Ireland titles along the way. Those stats would suggest that it has all been one way traffic, but the finals of 2016 and 2020 (played a few weeks ago) have been drawn, with Slaughtneil winning both replays in Glen Maghera. The 2016 final replay was close to the very last until a late Mary Kelly goal sealed the first Ulster title for the Derry champions.

Una McNaughton lifted the Ulster trophy back in 2015 at Armagh Athletic Grounds

The 2020 replay was a more convincing affair with Slaughtneil dominating the game in heavy conditions in Maghera a few weeks ago. Loughgiel just could not get going against a dominant Slaughtneil side who showed they can play in any conditions.

PJ O’Mullan and his management team will be pleased tomorrow’s final will be played on a much better surface in Lavey, and that will suit his team’s better. In the drawn game in Ballymena some weeks back the Shamrocks were in the game for most of the hour, and had they got a couple of breaks they could have got over the line. However Slaughtneil are relentless and they simply never give up the fight.

Self-belief will play a big part in tomorrow’s final. If Loughgiel can get a decent start they can mix with the champions. It is vital the take the scores that are available if they are to succeed. A losing run in finals stretching over five years will have sapped the confidence, but when that happens you have keep knocking at the door in the hope that it will somehow open. If they need inspiration they need look no further than their own club’s hurlers who lost six county finals in a row between 2003 and 2008. Their critics said they would never do it but in 2010 they came back again and broke the hoodoo with a final win over Cushendall, before going on to win four-in-a-row, and All Ireland title into the bargain.

Slaughtneil go in again as the hottest of favourites, and rightly so, for they are a magnificent team. But Loughgiel are not without a chance and with a bit of self-belief, and an even break of the ball, who knows what could happen.  

Slaughtneil were in control when the sides last met in Glen Maghera back on December 4th

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