London Calling for Unlucky Deisemen

London, victorious in Carriganore last year, are seeking a third successive NFL win over Waterford this Sunday.								| Photo: Noel Browne

London, victorious in Carriganore last year, are seeking a third successive NFL win over Waterford this Sunday. | Photo: Noel Browne

National Football League Division Four
London v Waterford (Ruislip, Sunday, 1 pm)

Waterford’s senior footballers make the trip across the Irish Sea this Sunday to take on the Exiles of London in the penultimate round of games in this year’s National Football League.

The year has so far been a decidedly mixed one for the Deisemen. The year began with Tom McGlinchey’s men winning a first McGrath Cup since 1981, picking off Cork in the semi-final before accounting for UCC in the Final at Fraher Field.

And Division Four began well for Waterford as the men in white and blue defeated Wicklow but since then results have been on a downward curve loosing to Offaly, Longford, Carlow and Antrim.

For the Exiles, the League is not going much better. They have lost all five games to date against Offaly, Carlow, Longford, Antrim and last weekend against Leitrim, the side they beat just two years ago, en route to a rare Connacht Final appearance.

Since then, despite the Exiles showing some potential and promise, things have slipped backwards. Last year they collected just three points in the League drawing with Carlow and beating Waterford for the second year in a row.

They have seen a big turn over of players in the last two years. Of the 20 players that played in the Connacht Final two years ago, just nine are still involved with the panel this year.

Having lost the last two League games between the sides, Waterford will not want the Exiles making it three in a row.

It would also represent a massive downer with just one League match remaining on the roster (away to Leitrim) before the Munster Championship showdown with Tipperary in Semple Stadium on May 31st.

Three of Waterford’s four defeats have been by just two-point margins, matches that, in hindsight, could just as easily have yielded victories as reversals, thus changing the mood music considerably had that proven the case.

As Tom McGlinchey said following defeat to Antrim at Walsh Park: “One of these days, when we do click, when everything does go right for us, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with and it isn’t that far away…

“Anyone outside the camp or who hasn’t seen the matches is probably saying ‘typical Waterford, they lost again’, but when you’re at the games, Longford last week, Carlow the week before, today too, we’ve lost those three games by two points, just a score. My message is to the lads is to stick at it, keep up the effort, keep up the application and our day will come. Our day will come and I am firmly convinced of that.”

It could be interesting to see what panel will travel to London this weekend given that there have been reports, albeit unconfirmed, that there have been some changes made to the panel within the past 10 days.

Last week London manager Paul Coggins said he felt his side were playing well, despite losing all their games and suggested that a win wasn’t far away.

And were they to defeat Waterford next Sunday at Ruislip, the Exiles would record a third successive win over the Deise. Let’s hope McGlinchey’s men avoid defeat and register a morale-boosting victory.

Thomas Keane

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