TG4 All-Ireland Ladies' JFC: Down hope to avoid semi-final meeting with Fermanagh

Fermanagh and Derry are no strangers to each other in recent years and they meet again this Sunday
Fermanagh and Derry are no strangers to each other in recent years and they meet again this Sunday

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies’ JFC round three

Group A

Limerick v Down (Sunday, Newcastlewest, 1pm) 

DOWN and Limerick will battle it out for top spot in the group and an All-Ireland semi-final against either London or Carlow. 

Both teams have already qualified for the knock-out stages thanks to wins over Sligo and Kilkenny so defeat will not change that.

A win to qualify as group winners would see them face a semi-final against the runners-up in the other group.

The losers will face Fermanagh, so to avoid the Erne county is incentive enough to go out and win this last round-robin game. 

A draw would even be enough for Down to finish top of the group as they currently have the better scoring difference after racking up 13-24 against Kilkenny last weekend. 

This will be a good test for the Ulster champions to see where they are against one of the teams that could land the All-Ireland junior title next month. 

Down are also among the favourites for those honours and they will be keen to lay down a marker, put in a good performance against a good junior side and get the right result as the competition enters its final stages. 

This will be an interesting tie with the game very much up for grabs for both teams, although Down would hope to shade it.

The other game in the group sees Sligo travel to face Kilkenny tomorrow (3pm). 

Group B

Derry v Fermanagh (Sunday, Ballymaguigan, 5pm) 

FERMANAGH will hope to complete their All-Ireland semi-final qualification unbeaten with victory over Derry in the final group game on Sunday evening. 

The Erne county are guaranteed to finish top of the group and set up a semi-final meeting with either Down or Limerick, regardless of this result, even defeat.

With victories over Carlow and London, who will battle it out on Sunday (Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm) for the remaining place in the semi-finals, Fermanagh will finish as group winners by virtue of their head-to-head result.  

Derry’s participation in this year’s All-Ireland competition will end at the full-time whistle on Sunday but the Oak Leaf girls will hope to bow out with their heads held high and on a performance they hope they can build on for next season.  

James McGurk’s side put in a good first-half performance against Carlow last weekend and indeed led at the break, but they fell away in the second half and the Leinster side ran out comfortable winners.  

Fermanagh will be favourites to come away with the win and finishing as group winners they will meet the second-placed team in the other group, that to be the loser of Limerick and Down, which they will know before this game throws in on Sunday evening.