Derry should record a big score against Warwickshire at Celtic Park
National Hurling League Division 2B: Derry v Warwickshire (today, Celtic Park, 1pm)
DERRY remain joint top of Division 2B on four points, despite last weekend’s crunch clash with Kildare being called off due to the impact of Storm Dennis.
Warwickshire, on the other hand, have played three games and lost three games in what has been a disastrous campaign to date for the exiles.
The likes of Cormac O’Doherty, Sé McGuigan and Eoghan Cassidy have been on scoring form for Derry so far this season and, although they nearly let victory slip through their grasp against London last time out, they were ruthless enough up front to see it through in a challenging second-half.
The bottom line for Derry this year must be a Division 2B final appearance, if not promotion itself, and having defeated rivals Down on the first day a win this afternoon would put them in a solid position, with Roscommon and a rearranged game with the Lilywhites left to play.
O’Doherty hit 13 points in that game against the Ards men and similar accuracy from dead ball situations could be key again today in conditions that are sure to make free-flowing hurling nigh on impossible to play.
Warwickshire began their campaign with a 12-point defeat to the Rossies at the end of January and followed that up with a near whitewash defeat to Kildare in Birmingham. In that game, the home side registered a solitary point, while the Lilywhite racked up a total of 5-19.
Last weekend, they travelled to Ballycran and were duly dismissed by a free-scoring Down side. However, they did show some promise in the first-half of that game, hitting a total of 2-8 before drawing a blank in the second-half.
Warwickshire are clearly out of their depth at this level with the current panel they have at their disposal and John McEvoy’s men will be expected to record a win of large proportions at Celtic Park.
The Oak Leafs will have Éamon McGill available after he won his appeal against the red card picked up in that recent victory over London at Ruislip.