DONEGAL and Galway will look to preserve their 100 cent records in Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League over the weekend – and book semi-final slots.
Both counties have won their opening four games in the top flight in 2019 – and they can make sure of knockout places on Saturday. Donegal travel to Cork while Galway face a trip to Tipperary as the race to make the divisional semi-finals hots up. Also on Saturday, champions Dublin have a home fixture with relegation-threatened Monaghan, while Westmeath host Mayo on Sunday. There are three games in Division 2 over the weekend, with the Kerry v Cavan fixture postponed until April 14 following bereavement in the Cavan camp. In Divisions 3 and 4, there is a full schedule of fixtures as the scrap for promotion and to avoid the drop intensifies across the country.
Saturday 16th March 2019
Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1
Tipperary v Galway, 5pm, Bansha, (E Moran, Kerry)
Tipperary’s priceless victory over Cork recently could yet prove to be the result that keeps the Premier County in the top flight.
It’s been a journey of learning for Tipp in Division 1 but they’ve acquitted themselves well and manager Shane Ronayne will be quietly confident of another successful assault on the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate championship in the summer.
Tipp are the highest-ranking League side who will compete in the race for Intermediate glory and they’ll get another stern test from high-flying Galway in New Inn.
The Tribeswomen, like Donegal, are four from four in Division 1 and second only behind the pace-setters on scoring difference.
Manager Tim Rabbitte has picked up the baton from former boss Stephen Glennon and built on the progress of 2018 – when Galway contested semi-finals in Division 1 of the Lidl NFL and the TG4 senior championship.
The next step for Connacht champions Galway is to ensure safe progress to the semi-finals of the Lidl NFL and a win on their travels will make mathematically sure.
A home win would all but secure Division 1 football for Tipperary again next year but they won’t find it easy against the visiting Westerners.
Tipperary (v Galway): L Fitzpatrick; L Spillane, S Lambert (capt.), E Cronin; B Condon, E Fitzpatrick, C Kennedy; A.R. Kennedy, C Maher; N Lonergan, A Moloney, C Condon A McGuigan, R Howard, A Fennessy.
Galway (v Tipperary): D Gower; M Coyne, S Lynch, F Cooney; S Molloy, B Hannon, C Cooney; Á McDonagh, L Ward; M Seoighe, T Leonard (capt.), O Divilly; L Coen, R Leonard, S Conneally.
Cork v Donegal, 12pm, Páirc Uí Rinn, (S Curley, Galway) – Part of a double header with GAA – Live on Ladies Gaelic Football Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LadiesGaelicFootball/
Donegal are well on course for the semi-finals and a victory here would make sure.
These two have some recent history as Cork won big games in 2017 and 2018 – the Lidl NFL Division 1 final and the TG4 All-Ireland semi-final respectively.
Donegal are the form team in Division 1 this year with four wins out of four while Cork’s form has been a mixed bag.
The Leesiders have won two out of their four matches, while also suffering losses to Galway and Tipperary, and they need the points here to remain on course for a semi-final slot.
What promises to be an intriguing battle is also part of another double-header for the Cork Ladies Footballers – with the men from both counties to play at 2pm – and Ephie Fitzgerald’s charges will be anxious to put on a good show at Páirc Uí Rinn.
This fixture is available to view Live on the LGFA Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LadiesGaelicFootball/ and if both counties remain in their current positions in the table, they’ll meet again in the last four.
Cork (v Donegal): M O’Brien (capt.); S Kelly, H Looney, A Kelleher; D Kiely, M Duggan, E Kiely; A Hutchings, L O’Mahony; Á O’Sullivan, N Cotter, O Farmer; E Scally, S O’Leary, O Finn.
Donegal (v Cork) A Nee; A.M. McGlynn, E Gallagher, E McGinley; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, N Carr; K Herron, N Boyle; K Guthrie (capt.), N Gordon, A Boyle Carr; S McGroddy, M Ryan, R Friel.
Dublin v Monaghan, 5pm, DCU, St Clare’s, (S McNulty, Wicklow)
After losing out to Donegal in their first game, Dublin have bounced back to record three successive wins, and look well set for a semi-final place.
Manager Mick Bohan is nursing the Sky Blues nicely through a planned defence of the Lidl NFL Division 1 crown, as he runs the rule over squad members while also reintroducing more experienced stars as the campaign progresses.
Monaghan are in big danger of being relegated to Division 2 of the Lidl NFL – and need to collect some points from their last three group fixtures to have any hope of avoiding the drop.
Dublin, with home advantage here, will be roaring hot favourites to make it four wins in a row and it will take a stunning Monaghan performance to stop them.
Monaghan suffered a big loss to Cork last time out and Dublin will be eager to inflict more pain on the Farney girls.
Dublin (v Monaghan): R Fleming; M Byrne, O Carey, R Ruddy; S Goldrick, L Magee, S Fagan; J Dunne, S McGrath; H O’Neill, L Davey, N Hetherton; S Aherne (capt.), S Killeen, N Healy.
Monaghan (v Dublin): G McKenna; N Kerr, S Boyd, H McSkane; A McAnespie, R Courtney, A McCarey; S Coyle, E McAnespie; C McBride, L Maguire, E Woods; C Courtney (capt.), M Atkinson, C McAnespie.