32 Counties and Now 32 Years: 2011 Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football Leagues Launched at Croke Park

The 32nd Bord Gáis Energy National Football Leagues were launched today at Croke Park ahead of the first weekend of competitive inter-county football of the new year.

Following on from the success of last year’s four division format, once again all 32 counties are represented across four ultra competitive divisions, ensuring an all-island competition with an emphasis on promoting and developing Ladies Football in all counties.

The format for the year ahead is four divisions of eight teams with the top four competing in divisional semi finals and the bottom two facing relegation. The finalists of divisions 2, 3 and 4 will be promoted.

It was also announced today that TG4 will broadcast live coverage of all four National League finals.

Division 1 features Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Mayo, Monaghan and Tyrone. All eyes will be on Donegal as they seek to build on last year’s fairytale season but many will also be looking to Cork to mount a successful defence of their Division 1 crown.

The eight teams competing for promotion and the Division 2 title are Armagh, Cavan, Dublin, Kerry, Meath, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford. One of the surprises of last year was the relegation of Dublin from Division 1. The reigning All-Ireland Champions will be looking to bounce straight back but won’t find it easy against the likes of Armagh, Kerry and Waterford.

Clare, Down, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Wexford and Wicklow will be fighting it out in Division 3. A close eye will be kept on Clare and Down and their progress this year, while Limerick will also be looking to build on their promotion last year and of course their Junior All-Ireland success.

Finally, Division 4 features Antrim, Carlow, Derry, Kilkenny, Louth, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath. All-Ireland Junior finalists Louth will feature prominently, but with Derry also contesting for honours in recent years, they will be challenged for the trophy.

Pat Quill, Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, said, “We are delighted to be here in Croke Park launching another year of fantastic National League action. The last 12 months has seen our association flourish with initiatives like Gaelic4Girls and Gaelic4Mothers really taking hold in our communities – but the National League is one of our premier events and we are delighted to once again have a premier brand like Bord Gáis Energy on board. We are very grateful to Ger and the team in Bord Gáis Energy for their support and we look forward to the wonderful games ahead. ”

Individual and collective honours feature prominently on this year’s calendar. The Bord Gáis Energy Manager of the Month award returns, in association with the Irish Daily Star and at a gala evening in Croke Park at the end of the year, the Bord Gáis Energy Teams of the League and the Manager of the League will be announced.

Ger Cunningham, Sports Sponsorship Manager of Bord Gáis Energy said, “The Ladies Football National Leagues is one of our most rewarding sponsorships and to have introduced successful and much-anticipated initiatives like the Manager of the Month and the Teams of the League has played an enormous part in that.

“Last year’s National League competition unearthed new talent and teams like Donegal and Cavan really grabbed their chance with both hands. I can’t wait to see who comes to the fore this year and I wish all involved with the leagues and with Ladies Football the very best.”

Round 1 Fixtures – Sunday 6th February, 2011
Bord Gáis Energy NFL Division 1 Fixtures – Round 1

Donegal v Galway, (Bundoran), 2.00, (J Niland)
Laois v Kildare, (Park Ratheniska), 2.00, (K Tighe)
Cork v Mayo, (Mallow), 2.00, (K Delahunty)
Monaghan v Tyrone, (Emyvale), 2.00, (G Corrigan)

Bord Gáis Energy NFL Division 2 Fixtures – Round 1
Dublin v Armagh, (Parnell Park), 12.00, (P Kehoe)
Sligo v Cavan, (Coola Shamrock Gaels), 2.00, (T McShea)
Waterford v Meath, (Walsh Park), 2.00, (M Doherty)
Kerry v Tipperary, (TBC), 12.30, (MJ O’Keeffe)

Bord Gáis Energy NFL Division 3 Fixtures – Round 1
Clare v Down, (Cooraclare), 2.00, (R O’Connor)
Limerick v Fermanagh, (TBC), 2.00, (K Martin)
Leitrim v Wexford, (Ballinamore), 2.00, (L McDonagh)
Longford v Wicklow, (Ballymahon), 2.00, (M Farrelly)

Bord Gáis Energy NFL Division 4 Fixtures – Round 1
Roscommon v Louth, (Kiltoom), 2.00, (M Moran)
Carlow v Offaly, (Tinryland), 2.00, (D McKittrick)
Derry v Antrim, (Faughanvale), 2.00, (E O’Kane)
Kilkenny v Westmeath, (Urlingford), 2.00, (J Flood)

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