| 3.6°C Belfast

Oak Leafs have got to show a clinical edge or promotion hopes will fade, warns Gallagher


Rory Gallagher

Derry manager Rory Gallagher is urging his side to show more of a ruthless streak in terms of their finishing prowess when they face Tipperary in a must-win Allianz Football League Division Three encounter on Sunday.

One point from two games in the competition to date was not quite the start that former Donegal and Fermanagh boss Gallagher wanted.

The Oak Leafs' performance in losing to Down last Saturday (0-14 to 0-12) may have offered the basis for hope but Gallagher now wants this transformed into reality.

And he believes that the only way in which this can be achieved is if his side punish their opponents where it matters most - on the scoreboard.

Tipperary will come to Celtic Park fortified by a draw against Down (0-10 each) and a one-point win over Louth (0-11 to 1-7) and these results in themselves persuade Gallagher that his side will face a tense battle.

He amended his side last weekend and further tinkering with the line-up is expected for a game that offers his men the chance to cling to their promotion hopes, but only if they can emerge victorious.

"We missed chances from frees and play against Down and as well as that there was no advantage played when we had a goal chance just coming up to half-time. Had we scored from that the outcome might have been different," reflected Gallagher.

Their inability to profit from chances they created ultimately saw Derry surrender the two league points on offer and now they simply cannot afford to do that against Tipperary, who will be looking to copper-fasten their own promotion credentials.

Gallagher's men may be depending rather too much on Shane McGuigan to land the lion's share of their points and a greater spread of scorers would undoubtedly please him.

"When you are playing well in a game you need to be more clinical," asserted Gallagher. "The game against Down was a case in point where we were on top for spells but were not ruthless enough."

While Tipperary have collected three league points, they have not been hitting the high spots in terms of scoring and indeed they have still to land their first goal.

Meanwhile, All-Ireland winners Peter Canavan and Oisin McConville along with former Kerry ace Tomas O Sé will link up with renowned rugby trio Rory Best, Chris Henry and Stephen Ferris for 'An Evening of 2 Halves' at the Europa Hotel, Belfast next Thursday.

This innovative sports panel event will see the rugby personalities tackle big current issues within their sport with Darren Cave posing the questions, while the second half will see the GAA personnel debating matters pertaining to their sport with Frank Mitchell as MC.

An extra-time section will feature a mixed sports panel with one from each of the GAA and rugby panels joined by local female sports stars.

Tony McKeown, director of Granite Marketing which has developed the concept, said: "Panel shows with sports stars are always popular. Bringing top-class athletes together to give an insight into team sports can invariably prove insightful and entertaining."

The event, with accident management specialists CRASH Services and personal injury specialists JMK as the main sponsors, gets under way at 7pm with a drinks reception which will be followed by a meal before the show.

Belfast Telegraph