The word Londonderry rarely if ever crops up in a GAA context. But London v Derry will certainly have particular resonance for Oak Leaf hurling fans on Sunday when their team heads to Ruislip in a bid to get their National League Division Two campaign off the mark.
Last weekend’s home defeat by Kerry provided manager James O’Kane with some food for thought. Of Derry’s total of 1-9, only 0-5 came from play.
And O’Kane will be expecting a much higher return against a London side that surprisingly slipped up against Meath in their opener.
“I thought we played reasonably well in the second-half against Kerry before letting them finish strongly,” said O’Kane.
“They scored 3-13 overall and I feel that several of those scores could have been prevented.”
Manager O’Kane is optimistic that Liam Hinphey will recover from the arm injury he sustained while assisting UUJ on Thursday last to play some part on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Down face another demanding test on the road when they travel to face Wexford having suffered a demoralising 20-point defeat against Clare last Sunday afternoon.
Manager Gerard Monan had hoped that Down’s defensive resilience might help stem the tide but Clare knocked up 2-20 and could indeed have had more scores.
“We were able to create plenty of chances — the problem was we just couldn’t take them,” maintains Monan.
“That can be disheartening but we have to be positive.”