Ladies ready for ‘group of death’!

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Football Championship (Round 1):

Roscommon v Kildare at 2 pm on Sunday in Duggan Park, Ballinasloe

The Roscommon Ladies footballers will be putting what was a frustrating league campaign behind them when they take on Kildare in their championship opener this Sunday. With Laois also in the group, the three teams look well matched and there won’t be much between any of them.

Roscommon manager Diane O’Hora told People Sport on Tuesday that they had learned a lot from the league campaign, which ended in disappointment after defeats to Sligo and Laois.

“We took stock after the defeat against Laois and I include players and management in that, We learned a lot and now we are in a really good place and the girls are raring to go again on Sunday.

“We played a few challenges and several girls who did not get a chance in the league have been involved and that has been very positive and has given us many more options. I can tell you it will be a very difficult team to pick,” she said.

  The Mayo native says that Kildare will pose a significant challenge, but she has been impressed with the attitude shown by her own charges.

“Kildare are a fine team. They are very physical and their management team has been with them for four years so they know what they are about. They are an attacking team so we will have to be ready for the challenge they will present.

“But I have been so impressed with the attitude of the Roscommon players. They are so hungry and are chomping at the bit ahead of Sunday’s game. Several of the players have put up their hands since the league and admitted that they need to improve and training has been so positive.

“I think some of our players may have got carried away because there was a bit of hype during the league but we have learned from that and there is a great vibe now and morale is high.

“We have a few niggly injuries but I am very hopeful that everyone will be okay for the match on Sunday. But look, this is what they are calling the group of death. The three teams are all confident of getting through and our aim has to be to top the group and that has to start with a win on Sunday,” Diane said.

One win will ensure progression to the next stage while two wins would give any of the three teams huge momentum going forward. If Roscommon’s experienced players can lead from the front, they can get off to the best start possible.

Prediction: Roscommon