Slaughtneil camógs have done it again!
The Derry girls will be taking the Carroll Cup back home with them for another year on the Halfgayne Road after what was a comfortable five point victory in the end over Wexford side St. Martin's in this afternoon's AIB All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie Final.
Despite the wind, rain and, indeed, sleet towards the end of the decider at Croke Park, 4500 hearty souls piled into HQ for club camogie's biggest day of the year.
The reigning All-Ireland champions hit the front early with Tina Hannon finding Mags D'Arcy's net inside five minutes. It would be Hannon who would ultimately prove the difference between the two sides on the day, picking up another four points in the first period to see the Robert Emmets ladies leading by six as everyone escaped to the changing-rooms for half-time.
St Martin's, to their credit, did persevere in a second-half that was increasingly affected by the adverse weather conditions. But the Wexford women may be left with thoughts of what might have been, had county star Chloe Foxe not had a penalty thwarted half way through the second-half. Points from Linda Bolger, Foxe and Lettie Whelan closed the gap to five inside the final ten minutes, but silverware would travel north again with Slaughtneil triumphing on a scoreline of 1-09 to 0-07.
Slaughtneil's win capped a great day for Ulster camogie, after Down side Clonduff held on for an emotional victory over Waterford champions Gailltír in the Intermediate final.
There was drama even before the game had started when Waterford camogie star Trish Jackman was sensationally drafted in to the Gailltír starting line-up - the University of Lincoln lecturer turning out for the first time in over two years for her club side.
It would be the Mourne County cailíní, however, that would dictate the early exchanges, racing into a five points to no score lead, with captain and dead-eye set-piece specialist Paula Gribben converting three frees and one 45 to compliment Sara Louise Carr's point from play.
Back would come Gailltír, with Annie Fitgerald firing three first-half points that would see the sides only separated by the minimum, before a golden opportunity was presented to the Waterford side to hit the front when Clare Gilligan felled Fitzgerald on the stroke of half-time, giving Áine Lyng the opportunity to convert a penalty. She would be denied by a combination of Carr and Karen Haughey from the resultant attempt.
Clonduff went in 0-07 to -06 ahead at the break, and points from Gribben and Carr restored a three point cushion for the Yellas as the game entered the final quarter.
However, this was in no way a procession to victory as Gailltír assaulted the Clonduff goal in the closing moments. Goals chances went a-begging from Jackman, Fitzgerald and Clodagh Carroll all firing wide, and despite Fitzgerald closing the gap back to one, Gribben would land a monster free as time ticked toward the sixty minute mark. Aine Lyng cut the deficit to one with an injury-time free of her own, but this would be Clonduff's day- the final whistle bringing an outpouring of emotion from the Down girls, who ran out 0-10 to 0-09 winners.