Friday 24 May 2019

Tribeswomen and Cork a real threat to Dubs, says Fitzgerald

Cork Ladies boss Ephie Fitzgerald
Cork Ladies boss Ephie Fitzgerald Sportsdesk

Cork ladies manager Ephie Fitzgerald thinks both Lidl NFL Division 1 finalists, Cork and Galway, will pose a significant threat to double All-Ireland champions Dublin when the TG4 championship comes around.

Cork are chasing a sixth Lidl NFL title in the last seven years, while Galway have lost all five of their Division 1 final appearances, but the Cork manager believes that very little separates the two teams.

Galway held the upper hand when the sides met back in February, and, according to Fitzgerald, his side face a massive test on Sunday at Parnell Park.

"Galway are blessed with girls who have a lot of natural footballing talent," he said. "They have added a bit of steel to their game this year. They are tough in the tackle and it will be probably the two form teams in the league in the final."

Defeats to Galway and Tipperary in two of their first three games was a poor start but Cork finished the round robin stages with four straight wins. A last-round victory over Dublin was backed up with a semi-final win over Mick Bohan's side in the semi-final, and drawing form lines between the sides, Fitzgerald thinks Galway will be a real test come the summer time.

"I don't think there is much in it between the three of us. Dublin obviously have the experience and they have a couple of All-Irelands under their belt.

"But I don't think experience will count for much on Sunday. I think it's going to be similar to the Dublin game. It will be dog-eat-dog, a good battle."

Fitzgerald may have to plan without two of his top stars as captain Doireann O'Sullivan is a major doubt to feature with a back injury, while the suspended Áine O'Sullivan is definitely out.

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