Derry camogie manager John O'Dwyer must plot his side's All-Ireland championship bid without Slaughtneil's Sionainn Graham, after the former Antrim player quit the panel.

The Oakleafers open their campaign against Laois on Saturday (5.00) in Swatragh.

O'Dwyer confirmed that Graham, who played her first game for Derry in their Ulster Semi-Final defeat to Down, has opted out of the panel citing work commitments.

Also gone is young Emmet's defender Ceát McEldowney, who also stepped away for a similar reason.

On the plus side, Karen Kielt has been named on the bench, a year after her cruciate ligament injury against Laois.

The Kilrea player went through her first full session on Tuesday night to conclude her rehabilitation programme.

Ballinascreen defender Teresa Bradley is another loss with a recent cruciate injury and Dara McGuckin also misses out.

Derry went unbeaten in last year's Al-Ireland series, drawing with Down, Laois and Cork.

Their win over Carlow on the final day wasn't enough and they missed a semi-final spot on score difference.

This season, Derry opened their league with a win over Kilkenny, in torrential conditions at Davitt Park, thanks to Grainne McNicholl’s late free.

It set Derry up for a fine league campaign that ended with semi-final defeat to Tipperary.

However, their Ulster championship hopes were dashed for the second year in a row by Down.

It leaves this Saturday’s game at home to Laois a vital tie.  They need to pick up full points before trips to Carlow and Wexford.

In their remaining two games, they face Down and Tipperary – who have both beaten Derry this season – at home.

Drawing on the experience of last year, Derry will be determined to ensure there is no slip-up this weekend and home advantage should see them victorious.

Derry: Niamh McQuillan, Caoimhe Glass, Bróna Ní Chaiside, Janet McGuckin, Megan Kerr, Aoife Ní Chaiside, Aine McAllister, Grainne McNicholl, Dervla O'Kane, Therese Mellon, Shauna Quinn, Mairead McNicholl, Aoife Quinn, Grainne McGoldrick, Mary Hegarty.
Subs: Mairead Comer, Shauneen Donaghy, Aine Kelly, Kelly-Marie Hegarty, Niamh Gallagher, Niamh Boylan, Leona Brown, Sorcha Dougan, Karen Kielt.

Remaining fixtures

Saturday, June 22 – Carlow v Derry
Saturday, July 6 – Wexford v Derry
Saturday, July 20 – Derry v Down
Saturday, August 3 – Derry v Tipperary

Pic: Mary K Burke.

For full coverage from Saturday's game, grab a copy of Tuesday's County Derry Post.

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