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Louth boss Bishop sweating over a few stars but singles out Ciara Woods and Eimear Byrne for praise

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Caoimhín Reilly

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Caoimhín Reilly

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caoimhin.reilly@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Louth boss Bishop sweating over a few stars but singles out Ciara Woods and Eimear Byrne for praise

Clan na Gael's Ciara Woods has been an impressive performer for Louth this year. (Pic: Warren Matthews)

Darren Bishop is planning for this weekend’s Division Four semi-final against Antrim without full-back Sarah Quinn, among others.

The Foxrock-Cabinteely club All-Ireland finalist is abroad and isn’t available, while neither Aoife Byrne nor Ceire Nolan made Sunday’s win over Fermanagh through respective niggles. 

And, to compound matters, St. Kevins’ Eimear Murray made a half-time exit with a hamstring complaint.

Nonetheless, the Louth manager is delighted with the position his team find themselves in, a last four place being their objective at the campaign’s dawn.

The emergence of Ciara Woods in the forward line and consistency of midfielder Eimear Byrne are particular aspects which the Cremartin man was eager to highlight following last weekend’s game.

“Ciara Woods did very well,” he told The Democrat. “In fairness to her she’s finding her feet and for a young girl only coming on to the panel this year, she’s starting to click and move well. 

“Eimear was also very impressive today, which is great to see. I had a chat with her during the week about the Derry game, (where her performance) wasn’t where it normally would be.

“She said she felt a bit tired, through a busy time at college with final assignments, etc. But this week you can see from her performance, she was a different girl altogether, carrying the ball at pace and very physical which is hugely important for a midfield player.

“Hopefully her sister (Aoife) won’t be far off for next weekend because they make a good pairing.”

On the Antrim fixture, which is at a venue not yet confirmed, Bishop issued a statement of caution, despite Louth having hammered the Saffrons in their earlier meeting in Cooley.

“Antrim didn’t start at least five of the players that I know should have been starting from last year’s panel the last day.

“And, again, it’s a semi-final, a two-horse race and they’ll be looking at us as the table toppers and going into the game with no pressure on them.”