ALL-IRELAND CLUB SFC SEMI FINAL
Timahoe go in search of an All-Ireland final place this Sunday with a depleted squad due to an outbreak of flu, as it threatens to upset their chances of making it to a second senior club football final this decade.
Timahoe v Donaghmoyne (Monaghan)
Date: Sunday, November 8
Throw In: 2pm
Referee: Liam McDonagh (Sligo)
The outbreak has come at the worst possible time, and team selector Brendan Quigley Snr highlighted just how serious the problem was last weekend, “We were training on Sunday and we had ten players down with flu. We are seriously depleted at the moment, we had to tell some of the players to go home on Sunday morning because they just couldn’t train for the morning that was in it, they were too sick.”
To add to the difficulty for TImahoe, the game is in Donaghmoyne, meaning they will have gruelling bus journey ahead of them on the morning of the game. Donaghmoyne are as tough as it could get for Timahoe too, as they recently claimed their fifth Ulster club title in six years with a 12 point victory over St McCartan’s of Tyrone.
They were All-Ireland club champions as recently as 2006 with a final appearance the year before in 2005, and they are littered with Monaghan intercounty players. Their attack revolves around the talented Cathriona McConnell, and she has been in outstanding form so far this year. In the the three games Donaghmoyne played en route to the Ulster club title, she scored 5-25, with 3-7 coming in the final itself.
She has been lining out at centre forward and Grainne Dunne Snr will have to be on guard to keep McConnell under wraps this Sunday. Outside of the problems they have with flu, Timahoe have no major injury worries, as it is hoped Rebecca McPhilbin will recover from a slight ankle injury to be available for selection.
For now, it is a race against time for Timahoe to see how many players can recover from the flu before the game this Sunday. Even if they get over the sickness, regaining full strength and fitness may not come in time for the game, and as it stands they are at a major disadvantage. With the game on their home pitch, Donaghmoyne will be favourites, but if Timahoe can get things to turn around for them before Sunday, it will take an almighty effort from the Monaghan side to justify their favourites tag.
By Rory Delaney, Leinster Express