Mayo welcome the Déise on Sunday

Ladies Football: National Football League

Rough and tumble: Fiona Doherty challenges Mayo's Leah Caffery in MacHale Park last Saturday night. Photo: Sportsfile.

Rough and tumble: Fiona Doherty challenges Mayo's Leah Caffery in MacHale Park last Saturday night. Photo: Sportsfile.

The Mayo senior ladies will welcome Waterford to Swinford in round three of the National Football League on Sunday afternoon.

Peter Leahy's charges were beaten by five points by All Ireland champions, Dublin, last Saturday night in MacHale Park, with the metropolitans running out 0-12 to 0-7 winners in front of a healthy crowd - the game forming part of a double header with a meeting also between the two counties men's teams.

After the game, Leahy said there was disappointment in the dressing room, but they would be ready to go again on Sunday, saying: "I thought we never got out of our shell. Whether it was nerves, the occasion or whether it was playing the All-Ireland champions, but we stood off and the girls are in there in the dressing room now very disappointed. But they’re a hugely resilient bunch. We’ll pick ourselves up during the week and be back looking to play our very best next weekend."

Their opponents on Sunday - like Mayo - have one win and one loss to their names so far in the league, with the Déise girls beating Galway by a single point in round one - thanks to netting five goals, with triplets Emma, Aoife and Katie Murray, all hitting goals for the Munster side who have returned to the top flight this year.

Last weekend they welcomed Donegal - who had been beaten by Mayo in round one to Faher Field and the Ulster side went away with the points, thanks to a 2-10 to 1-11 win, with an Emma McCroary late goal earning the points for the Ulster side. Katie Murray was the top scorer for Waterford on the day, bagging 1-3, while Kelly Ann Hogan hit four points from frees. Waterford's Ciaran Curran said he was disappointed his side didn't convert their advantage near the end into a win, saying after the game: "We have to look at ourselves over the hour. If you want to win these games the lesson to be learned today is that you need to be four or five points up when it comes to the end to be sure of getting over the line."

Last weekend Leahy made four changes to the Mayo team from the side that beat Donegal six days earlier, giving a debut to Saoirse Lally in the full back line, while Dayna Finn got the nod at full back and Nicola O'Malley also came into the team in the number four shirt, while Róisín Durkin got a start in the half forward line.

Leahy also made a number of positional switches with Danielle Caldwell moving into the centre-half back, Clodgah McManamon going to midfield, Fiona Doherty moving to the centre half forward spot and Lisa Cafferkey moving to right corner forward position.

The reliability of Carla Rowe from placed balls was the major difference between the sides, with the Clann Mhuire player kicking eight points over the hour, six of them from frees - slotting over four points in each half. Mayo trailed by three points at the break on a score of 0-6 to 0-3 with Sinead Cafferkey kicking two and Natasha Gaughan adding the other for Leahy's side. Mayo closed the gap to just two points not long after the restart, with Gaughan pointing a free, but from then on Dublin took control of the game, outscoring Mayo six points to four over the final half an hour, with Rachel Kearns and Lisa Cafferkey adding the other.

Leahy stated after Mayo's round one win over Donegal that he would be using the league to blood new players for the championship, so it will be no surprise if he rings the changes again this weekend for the trip to Waterford.

 

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