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Character key for Accies ahead of Malahide double-header

Omagh Accies’ James Catterson and his forward colleagues will need to be in top form yet again against Malahide.

By Chris Caldwell

OMAGH Accies coach Phil Marshall lauded his side’s character following their impressive 32-39 victory at Thomond on Saturday of last week.

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The win, which left them third in the table, just five points off leaders Sligo, was built on a foundation of fitness and mental strength, key facets of the Accies game that has brought success over the past few years.

His charges fought back from 25-13 down at half-time and from 32-20 down in the second half to secure a bonus point away win against the second placed side in the division.

With both Sligo and Bangor suffering surprise losses to Seapoint (22-12) and Bective Rangers (17-22), Marshall knows his side can further cement their All-Ireland League future with a home win over fifth placed Malahide this afternoon.

However, having lost to the same opposition in their opening round robin match at the end of last season by 17-26, Marshall knows the Dublin side won’t be intimidated by a trip to Tyrone.

“This week we are at home to Malahide, and they don’t fear us,” he warned. “They have played us and beaten us before and they are coming off the back of a very good win on Saturday (21-0 over Bruff), but for some unknown reason they have won all four home games this season, but lost all four away. So, hopefully that continues!”

Marshall will have the same 20 player panel at his disposal this weekend, with the possible additions of Neil Brown and Johnny Sproule, who will be assessed during the week.

And there will be a first for the Accies today, when they are officiated by a female referee as Helen O’Reilly is scheduled to take charge of the clash between the sides, who will meet again on December 9 in Dublin for the return fixture. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

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