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Davis limber up for Derry's best

HOME sweet home. Thomas Davis had almost forgotten what it looked like.

They have had four matches on the road in this season's Tesco Leinster Intermediate Club Championship.

But now, at last, they will be back in their own garden as the Derry champs, Glen, call for tea to the Kiltipper Road on Sunday (1.30).

It's the All-Ireland semi-final. And already, plans are well advanced to cater for the fixture. The Tallaght club are well used to hosting big occasions.

"The club members are making sure that everything will be right for Sunday," reports manager, Stephen Bates, running the side with Niall Kelly and Mary McGrath. "The effort has been massive in preparing for the day, and it highlights everything that is good about Thomas Davis."

It's the second year in succession that they have been crowned Leinster champions. They beat Milltown of Westmeath in Kinnegad last week.

Last November, the Dubliners also had a home All-Ireland semi-final when they played Galway's Annaghdown in the junior semi-final.

That afternoon, Davis' turned on the style. They played some brilliant football. They won comfortably.

Helping to compile a harvest of scores were Miriam Liston, Sinéad Deegan, Ciara McGuigan, Katie Fitzsimons and Christina McGinty.

McGinty set the trend that day. Early on, she was presented with a goal chance. She took her point. She made her point by doing so. Keep it simple, put in the effort, and the scores will come. She was again prominent in the victory over Milltown.

Other excellent donations against Milltown came from Olwen Carey, Liston and Deegan, who got the player-of-the-match award.

The Tallaght team have made a rapid rise. Two years ago they were in the junior grade. They finished third in Division 1 this term.

"The standard of club football in Dublin is very high," adds Stephen. "The quality of the opposition has helped us develop as a team. This year's Leinster Championship is much more difficult than last season, but we were expecting that. And we are expecting another tough game on Sunday."

Glen are the Ulster champions for the third time. They defeated Fr Murphy's of London in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

"The girls have been working hard at training. It's a huge day for the club, and for Tallaght, and it is a reward for all the work that the ladies football committee, led by Rosemary Deasy and Linda Walsh, are putting in," explains Stephen.

"They have done so much to develop ladies football in the club, and it is all starting to pay off. The U14s recently won the shield and the minors reached the championship final."

Making another All-Ireland final would be just the ticket for the present. Thomas Davis are hoping the faithful will be coming down from the Dublin Mountains, and all across the city, to cheer them home.