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McCurtains women ready to take national crown following near misses

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 September 2015

Kellie Carr in action for Thomas McCurtains earlier in the season

Kellie Carr in action for Thomas McCurtains earlier in the season

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Goodmayes club begin All-Britain quest in Coventry on Saturday

Ahead of their All-Britain Junior Football Championship quarter-final on Saturday, Thomas McCurtains women’s manager Finnian O’Dowd believes the team can

finally win the competition.

The Goodmayes club qualified for the tournament after winning the London Championship earlier this summer.

In recent years, McCurtains have come close to adding the national title to their county glory, including last season when they were beaten finalists.

On Saturday they take on Oisin’s, who are the Lancashire champions, for a spot in the last four and O’Dowd is confident his team can go all the way this year.

“After winning the London title, I feel we have a good chance of finally getting our hands on the national title too,” he said. “Because they play their games in Manchester, we don’t know too much about them, but they probably don’t know too much about us.

“It will be tough for either side to gauge each other. They were regraded down to junior last year so they have the chance to be a very good side and I think they could also do very well in the competition.”

McCurtains warmed up for the weekend’s crunch clash with victory over Claddagh Gaels, their first match since beating Tir Chonaill Gaels to the London title at the start of July.

Stellar performances from Orla King, Kellie Carr and Katherine Canavan helped fire the Goodmayes club to a 4-8 to 0-3 success.

It was a much-changed team to the one which had beaten Tir Chonaill two months prior, but O’Dowd believes things are coming together nicely.

“That game allowed us to blow off some of the cobwebs after not playing for a couple of months,” he added.

“We lost a few players over the summer so it allowed us to try a few new things out, such as a couple of players in different positions.

“There were also a few players making their debut for us. We’ve still got more to come back so I’ll have to make a few decisions regarding selection.”

McCurtains face a longer trip on Saturday, when they travel to Coventry for the All-Britain quarter-final.

But O’Dowd is happy that the game is being played at a venue that will not give either team an unfair advantage.

“Both teams will have to travel about the same distance which is good,” he said.

“We would have rather it be played in Birmingham, though, as we’ve played there in recent years and Coventry will be a new ground.”

Elsewhere, the men suffered an agonising one-point defeat to St Clarets in their latest Football League Division Three Fixture.

In a tight contest, a late goal for Clarets swung the tie in their favour to preserve their perfect record as McCurtains remain fourth in the table.


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