DERRY’S league knock-out ambitions hang by a thread, but a win against Limerick at Owenbeg on Sunday (2pm) will keep their hopes alive.
Their Division 4B campaign has been a mixed bag to date under new manager James McGurk.
His first league game in charge of the side saw them ship a massive 5-15 in a 25-point hammering at the hands of Leitrim.
The Oakleaf County only managed 1-2 that day, and it got worse the next day as they posed 1-1 in a 18-point home loss to Wicklow.
Understandably, confidence couldn’t have been great but their next fixture provided a chance to atone as they faced a Kilkenny side returning to competitive action this season.
McGurk’s side, captained this year by Lea Casey of Steelstown, were much improved in Dunmore as they racked up 1-18.
The opening skirmishes were tight with Kate Purcell keeping the home side in touch, however a goal from Annie O’Loughlin sparked Derry and they led 1-9 to 0-5 at the break.
Kilkenny did goal after the interval but Derry were 1-18 to 1-8 victors.
The Treaty County enter the match as huge favourites but even if victory may be beyond Derry, McGurk will be using the match as a barometer of how far they have come on in recent weeks.
After two big wins, Limerick drew with a Leitrim side who hammered Derry in round one. The manager will want to see a more competitive showing and the longer they stay in the game, the more chance they have of a major upset.