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13th Nov 2017

One simple shooting stat shows why Slaughtneil are as good as they are

Darragh Culhane

The nation fell in love with Slaughtneil after their heroics.

What they achieved in 2016 was something else, Derry champions in both football and hurling and football.

They then went on to the All-Ireland semi-final for the hurling only to be outdone by Cuala, the same club also were beaten by Dr Crokes in Croke Park on St.Patrick’s Day.

It was a story that captured the nation’s imagination, how one small rural club managed to get so far in both codes.

But a nice story is no good to these players so they go again.

At the weekend Slaughtneil managed to make another Ulster final after seeing off Donegal champions Kilcar, it was clinical by the Derry side as they racked up 2-17 to Kilcar’s 0-17.

But there was a telling statistic that proved why it is no fluke they keep finding their way back to this point.

As per, Niall McCoy, a journalist from Gaelic Life, said that Slaughtneil hit their first wide in the game after 52:02 after racking up 1-16.

How is that possible? Even the best teams hit wides.

Well, the methodical and patient play can be seen throughout the game.

As Jim Gavin says it’s all about trusting the process over and over again and if you do that the results will come.

Just one example of Slaughtneil doing this was how they worked a score after 26 minutes.

The ball is kicked out after 21:37

A foul is drawn shortly after and resumed at 23:47

It is then worked up to around the 45-metre line 

Half a minute later after trying to find gaps they find themselves with not a lot to show for it 

Fast forward another half a minute and the exact same thing, just playing the ball around the waiting

Fast forward again and nothing more to show for it

But after all of that, a gap appears

And Slaughtneil hit the score

Patience is the keyword, no doubt it has been said dozens of times in training to the Slaughtneil players.

It’s not about hitting potshots and hoping for the best, Ulster football is seemed to be designed for no easy scores.

Slaughtneil knows that and that’s why they are looking to defend their throne, time after time they make the right decisions and wait for the right moment to hit a score.

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