As Ireland were cantering to victory against a pathetic Italian team in Rome, back at home there was one set of underdogs doing their job: Slaughtneil's All-Ireland odyssey will get its final, Croke Park chapter after a stunning victory against St Vincent's this afternoon.
The Derry side edged a nervy game 0-12 to 0-10 in Newry this afternoon. Having trailed by a point at half-time, Slaughtneil reeled off a few scores in a row to hit the front at 0-10 to 0-07, and they ultimately held onto the lead to the end. The hero of the hour was Chrissy McKaigue, who accomplished the dual feats of kicking 0-04 while marking Diarmuid Connolly out of the game.
It's a remarkable achievement by Slaughtneil, who are on course for an amazing and historic All-Ireland treble: the club's camogie side are into their All-Ireland final, and the hurlers face Cuala in a semi-final on February 25 for the chance to make history and headaches for the GAA's fixture-makers.
Remarkably, eight of today's side are likely to play for the hurlers. It is a remarkable achievement for a pretty small rural club, and the Derry GAA account were eager to put their extraordinary achievement in perspective. For the first time, victory causing indulgence in Google Maps.
— Derry GAA (@Doiregaa) February 11, 2017
Dublin's Alan Brogan was unimpressed with this, however:
Little ungracious from the Derry GAA official twitter account. Maybe just enjoy the victory and dont worry about the size of Marino. https://t.co/tYtB37a8oX
— Alan Brogan (@alanbrogan13) February 11, 2017