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Tyrone ladies clawing their way into contention ahead of Waterford clash

A win against Waterford would catapult Gerry Moane’s Tyrone side into joint second behind Armagh
Louise Gunn

Lidl National Football League Division Two round 5: Waterford v Tyrone (Today, Fraher Field, Dungarvan, 1pm)

TYRONE face a must-win game away to Waterford this afternoon if they are to keep their hopes of a Division Two semi-final spot alive.

The Red Hands are in joint fourth spot with Cavan while Waterford occupy second place, three points in front of their opposition. A win would catapult Gerry Moane’s side into joint second behind Armagh and put the pressure on Cavan, whose game against Kerry today has been postponed.

Division Two is extremely packed – excluding Armagh who are runaway leaders and five points clear of Waterford with 12 points from 12 – and the aforementioned teams who have eyes on a semi-final berth with Wexford and Clare also thrown in the mix as well can only place their fate in their own hands.

Depending on other counties won’t work and Moane knows that as he prepares for the run-in that sees them travel to Clare next weekend and then finish off with what could be a win or bust game against Kerry at home on April 7.

They have won one (Laois), drew one(Cavan on the opening day) and lost two (Wexford and Armagh) of their four games so far. Despite coming into this game with back-to-back defeats, the two performances could not have been more different.

Going down to Wexford was a shock result but Moane got the response he wanted against Armagh as they pushed the league leaders all the way and he wants the same performance levels again as they go in search of the win against Waterford.

“We have a couple of big games coming up and this is the start of them. We need to come away with the three points that is the bottom line. Qualification for the semi-finals is in our own hands but only if we win our remaining games,” said Moane.

“We put in a massive performance against Armagh and felt unlucky and disappointed by the result. We certainly had a similar amount of chances as Armagh but we made some mistakes that cost us, including the goal they got.

“They are a very experienced side and that took them through. Last year when we met in the league there were 24 points between the sides in the end. This time there were just three. From a management and player point of view that is progress and we felt we matched them well this time around. We can and will learn from it and the performance shows us what we are capable of doing.”

Tyrone have a number of players coming back from injury including Chloe McCaffrey who has not featured for the Red Hands so far this year but played for the winning UUJ Giles Cup team last weekend. Moane has plenty of experience in his side and he will need those players like captain Neamh Woods, Christiane Hunter, Emma Brennan, Emma Jane Gervin, Maria Canavan and Niamh O’Neill to take the game to Waterford. Waterford have their own threats with Michelle Ryan one of their most experienced players along with Maria Delahunty while Eimear Fennell was a scoring menace for Cavan last week.

Moane knows Wexford was a blip and one that they hope will not come back to haunt them.

“We really let it slip against Wexford but we are in the position we are in and it’s in our own hands. We need another performance like Armagh against Waterford. They will want to win as much as us to keep themselves in those semi-final positions. They are also coming in on a high after beating Cavan. They got a serious start and although they were played out of it in the second half, they did enough and held on for the win. That will have given them a massive boost.”

*CAVAN’S fixture away to Kerry has been postponed due to a family death in the Cavan camp. It has been refixed for Sunday, April 14.

Division One: Cork v Donegal (Today, Pairc Ui Rinn, 12noon live on LGFA Facebook Page)

DONEGAL are without a number of key players ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn.

The Division One league leaders look to be without sharpshooter Geraldine McLaughlin for the remainder of the league after the Termon forward broke a bone in her hand during training while Niamh and Tara Hegarty are not available for selection by manager.

Donegal have one foot in the semi-finals after four wins from four while Cork have had a mixed started to their 2019 campaign with two wins and two loses but very much in the mix for a knock out spot. A win, which would extend their unbeaten start to five games, will secure their semi-final spot and although defeat will not dent their hopes, Curran would certainly like to do it with two games remaining.

This fixture is another double header with the men’s GAA league games in a history making season for the Rebelettes as they finally got the opportunity to play at their county headquarters.

That outing lead to a shock defeat to Tipperary and they will be hoping for a more favourable outcome this afternoon. They might not have it all their own way and this is a game that could go either way. Donegal haven’t a bad league record against Cork, however, they Leesiders have managed to win the crucial ones including the 2017 Division One league final, where Donegal came within a whisker of victory, and last year’s All-Ireland semi-final which saw Cork prevail by six points.

Division One: Dublin v Monaghan (Today, DCU St Clare’s, 5pm)

POINTS continue to be hard to come by for Monaghan and it does not get any easier when they come up against Dublin this evening.

It is looking more and more likely that Niall Treanor’s side could be heading for Division Two football next season with just two games left after this round and still no points on the board from their first four games.

They shipped a heavy defeat to Cork two weeks’ ago but no doubt Treanor and his backroom team will have regrouped with his players and they will go again. Dublin, after their opening round defeat to Donegal, have put together three successive wins and the defending champions remain on course for a top four finish.

Division Two: Armagh v Clare (Today, Dromintee, 4pm)

DIVISION Two league leaders Armagh have all but guaranteed their place in the semi-finals with three games to go but they will be keen to push on with winning ways when they welcome Clare to Dromintee this afternoon.

The Orchard County have won all four of their games so far and have opened up a five point gap at the top of the table, leaving five other teams battling it out for a top four finish. Clare are not one of those teams and are out of the reckoning and could well be on the end of a heavy scalp if Armagh’s previous results are anything to go by.

Lorraine McCaffrey and Fionnuala McAtamney’s side were pushed to the limit last day out against Tyrone and had to come from behind early in the second half to win by three. They will be too strong for Clare today but that said there is a job to be done and the three points are to play for.

Division Three: Down v Longford (Today, Saval, 1pm)

DOWN come into this fifth round game on the back of three straight Division Three league defeats and managers Peter Lynch and Caoibhe Sloan will be hoping they can turn the tide against Longford this afternoon.

The Mourne County can come into this game full of confidence however despite losing to Roscommon two weeks ago. They were six points adrift at half-time, 1-5 to 0-2, but a superb second half against semi-final chasing Roscommon, saw them hold their opposition to just two points. They themselves hit six points but were unable to close the gap any further than that but a similar second half performance for the whole game this time around will push this Longford side all the way.

They sit just a point above Down in the table and suffered a heavy defeat to Meath last day out. This is a game Down will feel they can get three points from as they look to finish off the league strongly.

Division Four: Derry v Antrim (Tomorrow, Ballinascreen, 2pm)

LEAGUE leaders Antrim can take a step closer to the Division Four semi-finals with victory over neighbours Derry tomorrow.

Derry’s chances of making the knockout stages are not mathematically impossible but with just one win from their four games they look to be out of the reckoning. Victory over Antrim, would give them hope and if you are to go by the form book, the Saffrons should win away from home but they have had a bit of a mental block of late when it has come to Derry, who had got the better of them in the championship on the last two occasions, although their league form has been better. Last year’s league fixture between the two did not go ahead while Derry have not beaten Antrim in the league over the last eight years.

Division Four: Louth v Fermanagh (Today, Cusack Park, Drogheda, 2pm)

FERMANAGH are also knocking on the door of the semi-finals but face a tricky away test against Louth, who are one of five teams looking for a top four finish.

The Erne County has played a game more than their opposition, whose last league game, two weeks ago, against unbeaten Carlow was postponed because of the weather.

Both sides have lost just once this season – both to Limerick, so this is really a game for the taking as they fight for valuable league points.

Fixtures

Today

Division One: Cork v Donegal (Pairc Ui Rinn, 12noon), Dublin v Monaghan (DCU St Clare’s, 5pm), Tipperary v Galway (Rockwell Rovers, New Inn, 7pm)

Division Two: Waterford v Tyrone (Fraher Field, Dungarvan, 1pm), Armagh v Clare (Dromintee, 4pm), Kerry P-P Cavan

Division Three: Down v Longford (Saval, 1pm), Kildare v Meath (St Conleth’s Newbridge, 12noon)

Division Four: Louth v Fermanagh (Cusack Park Drogheda, 2pm)

Tomorrow (2pm unless stated)

Division One: Westmeath v Mayo (Cusack Park, Mullingar)

Division Two: Laois v Wexford (Timahoe, 1pm)

Division Three: Sligo v Roscommon (Cloonacool Community Park) , Wicklow v Offaly (Roundwood)

Division Four: Limerick v Kilkenny (Askeaton, 12noon), Leitrim v Carlow (Cloone), Derry v Antrim (Ballinascreen)

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