PREVIEWS: Big weekend in store as leading contenders push for LIDL NFL semi-final slots

A big weekend lies in store in Round of the 2022 Lidl Ladies National Football League – as the leading contenders push for semi-final slots.

There’s a full schedule of games pencilled in, including a Division 1B clash at Croke Park on Saturday (5.15pm) between 2021 Finalists Dublin and Cork – Live on TG4.

Also in Division 1B, Meath travel to Waterford on Sunday, while there’s a Connacht derby between Galway and Mayo in Division 1A, as Westmeath host Donegal.

Clare were due to take on Kerry in Division 2A in Doonbeg on Saturday (3pm) – but that game has been postponed.

All other games in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 scheduled for Sunday.

With the exception of the Dublin-Cork game, all other weekend fixtures can be viewed by accessing the LGFA’s subscription portal:


All fixtures 2pm unless stated 


Saturday February 19: 


Lidl NFL Division 1B: 

Dublin v Cork; Croke Park, 5.15pm Live on TG4

These two counties will start most seasons as leading contenders for the big prizes on offer – and 2022 is no different.

Without their Mourneabbey contingent, Cork were still competitive against Meath in Navan last Saturday, losing out by just two points against a strong Royal County outfit.

Dublin, meanwhile, began with a comfortable win on their visit to Waterford, to get their League title defence off to a good start.

This is a must-win for Cork – and that outcome would ensure a nerve-jangling third round of fixtures on March 5/6.

Niamh Hetherton comes in for a start for Dublin, while Roisin Phelan and Libby Coppinger are drafted into the Cork starting line-up.

Dublin (v Cork): A Shiels; J Tobin, L Caffrey, H Leahy; A Kane, M Byrne (capt.), O Nolan; J Dunne, K McDaid; C O’Connor, N Hetherton, K Sullivan; J Egan, H Tyrrell, N Owens.

Cork (v Dublin): M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, M Cahalane; L O’Mahony, M Duggan (capt.), E O’Shea; A Hutchings, S Kelly; E Cleary, L Coppinger, D Kiely; S O’Leary, K Quirke, O Finn.

Lidl NFL Division 2A:  

Clare v Kerry; Doonbeg, 3pm 

Game postponed 

Sunday February 20: 

Lidl NFL Division 1A:

Galway v Mayo; Tuam Stadium

Galway lost out by three points on their visit to Ballybofey last Saturday night but the interim management team will have been encouraged by the efforts of a squad minus the Kilkerrin-Clonberne contingent.

Mayo, meanwhile, got off to a flier at the Connacht GAA Air Dome, as the green and red enjoyed a big win against Westmeath.

The counties meet for the first time since the 2021 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-final, which Mayo won by four points.

Mayo will start as favourites to claim a second successive win but form will be cast to one side in a Connacht derby.

Mayo are unchanged, as Galway bring Fabienne Cooney and Linda Booth in for starts.

Galway (v Mayo): A Griffin; S Molloy, E Gavin, A Ní Cheallaigh; K Geraghty, C Cooney, F Cooney; A Davoren, S Ní Loingsigh (capt.); L Coen, M Seoighe, L Finnegan; A O’Rourke, A Trill, L Booth.

Mayo (v Galway): A Tarpey; É Ronayne (capt.), S El Massry, S Lally; T O’Connor, F McHale, N Hession; S Cafferky, A Geraghty; S Mulvihill, L Cafferky, S Howley; R Byrnes, C Whyte, M Reilly.

Westmeath v Donegal; St Loman’s (3G), Mullingar

Westmeath were 2021 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Champions but they’ve flirted with League relegation in recent times.

They could have another battle on their hands after losing heavily to Mayo last Saturday evening – but home advantage could count for something against Donegal on Sunday.

The 3G pitch might stand to them, too, having played on the Air Dome surface in Round 1.

Donegal got off to a winning start against Galway, and boss Maxi Curran has named an unchanged side as the Ulster side look to make a big step towards the semi-finals.

Westmeath have just one change in personnel – as Niamh Nolan comes in for Ashley Ruane at midfield.

Westmeath (v Donegal): A Temple; M Fagan, L Power, A Alford; C Blundell, F Coyle, C Kelly; N Nolan, T Dillon (capt.); A Jones, L McCartan, K Boyce-Jordan; S Dillon, K Hegarty, S Lyons.

Donegal (v Westmeath): R McCafferty; S McFadden, E McGinley, N Boyle; N Carr, F McManamon, T Hegarty; Nicole McLaughlin, R Rodgers; S White, Niamh McLaughlin (capt.), S Twohig; B McLaughlin, K Guthrie, G McLaughlin.

Lidl NFL Division 1B: 


Waterford v Meath; Fraher Field, Dungarvan


Ultimately, it was victory over Tipperary in the group phase last year that kept Waterford out of a relegation play-off.


But the Déise find themselves in a group this year that contains the League champions Dublin, the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Champions Meath, and Cork, who’ve won the Lidl National League Division 1 title 12 times.


It’s a tough ask for Waterford to get points on the board and after losing to Dublin last weekend at Fraher Field, now it’s Meath’s turn to visit the Dungarvan venue.


The Royals are coming with a pep in their step too, after getting their Division 1 campaign off to a flier against Cork.


Waterford have resisted the temptation to shuffle their pack, as Ciara Smyth earns a start for Meath.


Waterford (v Meath): E Gallagher; M Dunford, C McGrath, R Casey; A Mullaney, Karen McGrath, L Cusack; E Murray, L Mulcahy; B McMaugh, H Power, M Wall; K Murray, C Fennell, Kate McGrath.

Meath (v Waterford):
M McGuirk; K Newe, M.K. Lynch, O Duff; S Ennis (capt.), E Troy, A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, O Lally; M Thynne, V Wall, E Duggan; C Smyth, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan.


Lidl NFL Division 2A:  

Laois v Tipperary; MW Hire O’Moore Park

Promoted from Division 3 last year, Laois got life back in Division 2 off to a perfect start with last weekend’s win against Clare.

And another victory on home soil, against Tipperary, would have the O’Moore County in a strong position and on course for a semi-final spot.

After suffering relegation from the top flight last year, Tipp won’t want to be dragged into another dogfight, as they aim to avoid a second straight loss.

Laois (v Tipperary): E Barry; C Dunne, A Potts, A Kelly (capt.); R Williams, E Healy, A Healy; J Moore, O Hennessy; S Havill, L.M. Maher, E Fitzpatrick; M Nerney, S.A. Fitzgerald, E Lawlor.

Tipperary (v Laois): L Fitzpatrick; C Davey, L Morrissey, N Martin; S English, E Cronin, E Kelly; C Kennedy, A.R. Kennedy; M Murphy, M Creedon, C O’Dwyer; A McGuigan, M Curley (capt.), E Morrissey.

Lidl NFL Division 2B:  

Tyrone v Monaghan; Killeeshil

Tyrone shipped five goals against Armagh last weekend and now face a Monaghan side fresh from a crucial one-point victory over Cavan.

A win of any sort in the group stages can help to stave off the threat of relegation first and foremost, putting counties in a position where they’re looking up at potential last four slots, rather than staring over their shoulders.

Tyrone needed a relegation play-off to avoid the drop last year and they could be facing a similar fate unless they can get points on the board – and fast.

Tyrone (v Monaghan): S McVey; J Lyons, C Magee, K Murphy; E Brennan, E Hegarty, E Mulgrew; N Hughes, A McHugh; D Gallagher, E.J. Gervin, L McAlary; G Rafferty, N O’Neill (capt.), N Rafferty.

Monaghan (v Tyrone): R Mooney; M Monaghan, J Duffy, L Garland; A McCarey, R Courtney, E Treanor; J McQuillan, C Mulligan; A Garland, M Atkinson (capt.), L Jones; C Treanor, C McBride, E Clerkin.

Armagh v Cavan; Athletic Grounds, Armagh

Armagh went through the gears against Tyrone and bagged 5-9 to announce themselves as promotion contenders.

A win against Cavan would have them in an excellent position, while the visitors will be looking to get off the mark after losing out by just a point to Monaghan.

Cavan beat Armagh in the League last year but Armagh turned the tables on the Breffni girls come championship time.

Armagh (v Cavan): A Carr; S Marley, C McCambridge, G Ferguson; T Grimes, L McConville, C Towe; N Marley, B Mackin; C Marley, F McKenna, E Lavery; A Mackin (capt.), N Reel, A McCoy.

Cavan (v Armagh): E Walsh; R Doonan, S Lynch, M Sheridan; S Greene, L Fitzpatrick (capt.), M Smith; S McKenna, N Byrd; N Keenaghan, L McVeety, A Gilsenan; A Rooney, G Sheridan, G Smith.

Lidl NFL Division 3A:  

Sligo P v Down P

Game postponed 

Louth v Roscommon; Darver Centre of Excellence

A must-win game for both teams – but Roscommon’s urgency is arguably greater.

The Rossies were on the wrong end of a one-point loss to Down in a Round 1 cracker, as Louth earned a point against Sligo.

This is a wide-open pool and victory for either side here will stand them in good stead ahead of the final round of group fixtures.

Louth (v Roscommon): U Pearson; M McMahon, E Hand, H Lambe-Sally; R Carr, S McLaughlin (capt.), C Nolan; A Halligan, E Byrne; R Kavanagh, K Flood, A Russell; L Collins, N Rice, J McCourt.

Roscommon (v Louth): H Cummins; S Kenny, R Brady, M Kelly; R Wynne, R Fitzmaurice, S Timon; K Nolan, L O’Rourke; L Fleming (capt.), A Curran, C Conway; A Hanley, N Shanagher, N Feeney.

Lidl NFL Division 3B:  

Wicklow v Wexford; Aughrim

Two teams who lost on the opening weekend go head to head in Aughrim.

Wicklow fell to Longford by six points, as Wexford were on the wrong end of a 12-point loss to Kildare.

A second successive defeat for either side would set relegation alarm bells ringing loudly.

Wicklow (v Wexford): J Kinch; E Hadden, SJ Winders, S Hogan; S Goetelen, N McGettigan, L Fusciardi; A Gorman, J Nolan Byrne; R McGettigan, S McGettigan, N Cullen; C Fox, S Delahunt, M Kealy.

Wexford (v Wicklow): D Fox; C Neville, A Halligan (capt.), A Walsh; O Kehoe, N Cloke-Rochford, A Byrne; R Murphy, C Banville; S Hamilton, C Murray, E O’Brien; E Tomkins, A Murphy, A Cullen.

Longford v Kildare; Glennon Brothers Pearse Park

Both teams will aim to make it two from two at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

Kildare were Division 3 runners-up last year and will be determined to go one better this year.

Longford, meanwhile, got the better of Wicklow and can be dangerous opponents for any team if they hit form.

Longford (v Kildare): R McGrath; S McCormack, L Keegan, E Doris; C Farrell (capt.), K Crawford, A Noonan; M Victory, M Farrell; L McGuire, G Shannon, S Shannon; C Lohan, E Heaney, L Monaghan.

Kildare (v Longford): R O’Hara; C Nugent, L Lenehan, G Harnett; M Doherty, L Gilbert, S Kendrick; A Rattigan, G Clifford (capt.); N Sinnott, L Curran, C Sullivan; N Dooley, L Reilly, H McCormack.

Lidl NFL Division 4A:  

Derry v Leitrim; Celtic Park

Leitrim were beaten Division 4 Finalists in 2021 and are anxious to get back to another Final – and get the job done this time.

Their big win over Fermanagh in Round 1 was a real statement of intent and now they face off against Derry, who lost their opening game to Antrim.

The signs point to a Leitrim win but Derry won’t be easily turned over on home soil.

Derry (v Leitrim): L Gunn; J Corr, D Donnelly, Orlaith McGough; E Doherty, Aoife McGough (capt.), O McCloskey; C McGurk, A Frizelle; O McGeough, D Kivlehan, E.R. Sainsbury; B Donnelly, L McGonagle, N Browne.

Leitrim (v Derry): N Ryan; M Grey, S Tighe, S McCartan; C Doherty, C Owens (capt.), C Le Guen; A Quinn, N Tighe; L O’Dowd, M Guckian, R McHugh; S Reynolds, L Fox, B O’Rourke.

Fermanagh v Antrim; Donagh

Fermanagh will hope to bounce back from quickly from a heavy loss to Leitrim last weekend – as Antrim aim to build on their win against Derry.

An Ulster derby will bring added spice to proceedings but on early season form, Antrim will be fancied to get the job done.

Whatever the result, however, there won’t be much between the sides at the final whistle, with Antrim targeting a second win on the bounce.

Fermanagh (v Antrim): M Maguire; E Keenan, A Gordon (capt.), D Curran; S.J. Jones, M McGloin, S McQuaid; B Bannon, C Bogue; N McManus, B Bogue, S Britton; C McElroy, E Smyth, L Grew.

Antrim (v Fermanagh): A McCann; E.L. McAreavey; A McFarland, N McIntosh; D Coleman, S Tennyson, M Mulholland; L Dahunsi, Á Tubridy; A Devlin, C Carey (capt.), M Woulahan; B Devlin, O Prenter, G McLaughlin.

Lidl NFL Division 4B:  

Limerick v Offaly; Staker Wallace, Martinstown

Limerick began their campaign with a six-point win against London, as Offaly enjoyed a handsome victory in their clash with Carlow.

These two sides are promotion hopefuls and, irrespective of the result of this one, they could still end up occupying the top two positions at the end of the group phase.

For now, Limerick and Offaly will look to strike an early-season psychological blow, and this could be one of the games of the weekend.

Limerick (v Offaly): S Hennessy; C Reidy, S O’Sullivan, M O’Halloran; M MacNamara, L Coughlan, K Heelan; L Hanley, R Ambrose (capt.); I Kenneally, M Kavanagh, A Ryan; C Davis, G McKenna, C Mee.

Offaly (v Limerick): E Evans; N Buckley, O Whelan, D Hannon; N Farrelly, A Kehoe, R Ennis (capt.); E Maher, A Gavin-Mangan; F Dempsey, E Hand, S McGuinness; S Doyle, M Byrne, E McEvoy.

Carlow v London; Netwatch Cullen Park

After losing their first round games, Carlow and London both need the points to revive hopes of a promotion push.

London make another trip across the water to take on a Carlow side smarting from a 17-point reverse against Offaly.

The Barrowsiders will aim to show they’re better than that but London will provide a stiff test.

Carlow (v London): S Cotter; O Hickey, O Fitzpatrick, K Collins; R Bermingham (capt.), E Atkinson, A Dowling; N Mohan, E Ware; N Kelly, D O’Brien, A Gilmartin; S Doyle, R Byrne, R Sawyer.

London (v Carlow): C O’Reilly; N O’Brien, R Hunt, N Mulholland; N Walsh, E O’Brien, R Murphy, S Roche, C Twohig (capt.); H Lydon, H Noonan, B Casey; N Feeney, R Mills, A Shovlin.

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