Offaly’s Senior and Junior teams face must win games this weekend as their hopes of making the knock out stages of their respective All Ireland Championships.
After defeats to Kilkenny and Clare in their opening games in the Liberty Insurance Senior Championship, Offaly host Derry this weekend in what is effectively a must win game for Aidan Franks’ side. Offaly had the chances to win last Saturday against Clare but ten first-half wides and two saved penalties meant Offaly came out on the wrong end of a 1-10 to 1-8 scoreline.
The Offaly management kept faith with the team that started against Kilkenny for the game against Clare but it would be no surprise if they were to shake things up for this Saturday’s encounter.
Derry meanwhile will travel to Tullamore on Saturday for the 1.30pm throw-in boosted by their 2-12 to 1-9 win over Tipperary.
Karen Kielt was excellent for Derry scoring to five points but it was a late Gráinne McNicholl that eventually saw Derry over the line.
Derry defeated Offaly in the league in 2013 and they will feel they have a chance against their hosts who are currently running low on confidence.
If Offaly are to have any chance of reaching the knock-out stages, this is a game they must win but they will need to improve their level of performance, and in particular their finishing, if they are to see off the challenge of an improving Derry side.
Also this weekend, Offaly’s junior team will be hoping to secure a place in the knock-out stages with a win over their counterparts from Meath. Offaly lost their first game in the three team group to Limerick by 2-8 to 1-4 but the same Limerick team demolished Meath by 7-17 to 2-5 last weekend. That bodes well for Sean O’Meara’s side but they will still need to perform against Meath to avoid and early championship exit.