Eight-time All-Ireland SHC winner Eoin Larkin has urged the GAA to get behind hurling in Ulster before it "dies a slow death".

Derry club Slaughtneil produced a terrific performance in defeat to the mighty Ballyhale Shamrocks on Sunday, falling to a 2-24 to 2-19 loss in the All-Ireland Club SHC semi-final.

Their feats continue to inspire, but Kilkenny legend Larkin wants to see much more done to help the army of volunteers currently working hard to sustain the small ball game in what he describes as "the forgotten province".

"Ulster is kind of the forgotten province in many ways with hurling," he told RTÉ 2fm's Game On.

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"There is huge work being done up north to sustain hurling and get more clubs involved. I think the GAA (should) really buy into it, help out these clubs, help out Ulster a bit more, maybe have a few home games for the Ulster teams up there.

"Bring the likes of Kilkenny up, Tipperary, Galway. It's going to die a slow death up there if they don't get more coverage. You have to take your hat off to the people working with kids, clubs and inter-county teams up there.

"They are putting so much into it and getting nothing in return really."

Larkin was highly impressed with Slaughtneil's efforts against Ballyhale.

They had the favourites rattled but ultimately the Kilkenny club's star men proved their worth.

"You have to take your hat off to Slaughtneil," Larkin added.

"You could really see yesterday why they are where they are as a club because they just threw everything into it.

"I said it ten minutes into the game, 'Shamrocks are in trouble here'. There was only one team in it in the first half and that was Slaughtneil. They put up a great show. Right to the very end they never gave up.

"But at big moments I think the Ballyhale stars stood up - the likes of Colin Fennelly and that... he took over the game. That was the real difference in the game. There was nothing really in it.

"The experience of Fennelly, TJ Reid and these kind of lads, they've played in huge games before, All-Ireland finals and semi-finals. Slaughtneil didn't have that to fall back on. Really that was the difference."

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