Galway Ladies prepare for tough battle ahead
By Sinead Farrell
Galway Ladies are building up to a tough series of games against fellow table toppers in the Tesco Home Grown NFL division 2.
Four rounds of the league have lapsed and the performances of the Galway Ladies have cultivated a joint top position with Kerry, Westmeath, and Kildare - all of whom have won three of their four outings to date. However, this four-way platform will witness a schism this weekend as Galway face a sturdy Westmeath side on March 24, while Kerry and Kildare will also play each other on the same weekend.
Manager Barry Downey is targetting a Galway win, which will go a long way to claiming a place in the league final. This is his first term as manager of the team and with a healthy history of league form behind them (league semi-final in 2012), they have every reason to be optomistic about this year’s campaign.
Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, manager Barry Downey said Westmeath would provide Galway with its a real test.“We’re really happy with our record in the league so far, but now we’re focusing on the Westmeath challenge. They won the Intermediate All-Ireland in 2011 and they’ve improved a lot since then. They’ve already drawn with Kerry who are unbeaten, so this will be a real test for us.
We’re working with a panel of 32 from tonight onwards after using the first games to give everyone an opportunity to play. Those who are no longer listed on the panel may well be called back in but it just wouldn’t be fair to ask girls to train and then not be able to afford them game time.” After a postponed resumption to training duty, Galway have covered up the lost ground with little delay and now they could be looking towards another league semi-final should they maintain their winning form
. “If we beat Westmeath, we’re guaranteed a semi-final place. That would be a great position to be in ahead of our final matches against Fermanagh and Kerry. You don’t want to have to travel down to Kerry needing a win, but we’re happy with training at the moment. There’s a few niggling injuries but we’ve got good depth and strength in the panel, so we’re confident going into next weekend.”
Galway’s last home game is against Fermanagh a week later before their final league game is away to Kerry on April 6. Kerry currently enjoy a superior points difference to Galway.
In other ladies’ action, Galway schools are going for All-Ireland glory over the coming weeks. Presentation Collage Athenry contest the senior A final, while Glenamaddy Community College are in the junior A final.