PREVIEWS: Semi-final and relegation pairings to be confirmed in 2022 LIDL National Leagues

IT’S decision weekend in the 2022 Lidl National Leagues – with semi-final and relegation play-off pairings to be confirmed.  

Dublin, Meath, Donegal and Mayo are safely through to the Division 1 semi-finals but those last four showdowns will be confirmed at the close of play on Sunday.  

Meath’s clash with Dublin (live on TG4, 3pm) is a glamour Saturday game, with all of the other Division 1 games pencilled in for Sunday.  

Laois, Kerry and Armagh are confirmed Division 2 semi-finalists, while Kildare are through in Division 3.  

In Division 4, it’s bubbling up to a gripping conclusion, with Limerick the only team mathematically guaranteed of a semi-final place.  

All of Sunday’s 15 games can be viewed by accessing the LGFA’s subscription portal:  


2022 Lidl NFL – Round 3  


All fixtures 2pm unless stated  

Saturday March 5: 

Lidl NFL Division 1B: 


Meath v Dublin; Páirc Tailteann, Navan; 3pm – LIVE on TG4  

The sides meet for the first time since the 2021 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Final – and a bumper crowd is expected at Páirc Tailteann in Navan for this televised clash.  

Both sides have already made it safely through to the semi-finals but there’s top spot at stake in Division 1B here – and the chance to strike an early-season psychological blow.  

This could the first in a series of 2022 meetings between the counties, who may collide again the LIDL NFL Division 1 Final, while they’re scheduled to play against each other in the forthcoming TG4 Leinster Championship on May 7.  

Dublin are unchanged from the team that beat Cork last time out, as Meath opt for three switches following victory in difficult conditions against Waterford.  

All Star forward Emma Duggan is on the bench, along with Katie Newe and Megan Thynne, as All Star full-back Mary Kate Lynch, Orla Byrne and Ailbhe Leahy come into the team.   

Dublin (v Meath): 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.  

Meath (v Dublin): M McGuirk; A Sheridan, M.K. Lynch, S Ennis (capt.); A Cleary, E Troy, A Leahy; O Lally, M O’Shaughnessy; O Byrne, V Wall, A Leahy; S Grimes, C Smyth, N O’Sullivan.  

Sunday March 6:  

Lidl NFL Division 1A: 


Mayo v Donegal; Connacht Centre of Excellence 

Mayo and Donegal were beaten Division 1 semi-finalists last year but have made it safely through to the last four again.  

The result of this one will determine who finishes top, and is pitted against the second placed team from Division 1B, while the runner-up in 1A will play against the top team from 1B in the semi-finals on Saturday March 19.  

Mayo and Donegal are two teams who will feel that they’re capable of a major breakthrough in League and Championship – and this one will be a good gauge for both of exactly where they stand at this point in time.  

Despite being qualified, they’ll both look for a competitive game, with Dublin and Meath through from the opposite side of Division 1.  

There are four changes to the Mayo team that started against Galway, as Hannah Reape makes her senior debut, while Donegal’s starting line-up shows two alterations, including the return of All Star attacker Geraldine McLaughlin.  

Mayo (v Donegal): L Brennan; E Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; C Needham, F McHale, K Sullivan (capt.); S Cafferky, A Geraghty; S Howley, S Walsh, S Mulvihill; L Cafferky, C Whyte, H Reape.  

Donegal (v Mayo): 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.  

Westmeath v Galway; Hogan Park, Moate 

Both counties go into this one knowing that a defeat will plunge them into a relegation play-off.  

Westmeath preserved their top-flight status with victory over Tipperary in a 2021 relegation shoot-out but they won’t want to go through that nerve-jangling experience again.  

Galway have the better score difference (-13) compared to Westmeath (-33) and that could yet prove crucial if the two teams finish level in this one.  

If this game finishes in a draw, the team registering the highest number of points (scores converted over the bar) will stay up.  

If they still can’t be separated after that, score difference will come into play. 

Westmeath have brought in Ciara Faulkner in goal, with Galway making three changes to their starting line-up following defeat to Mayo.  

Galway (v Westmeath): A Griffin; F Cooney, E Gavin, A Ní Cheallaigh; C Cooney, C Trill, S Molloy (capt.); A Davoren, S Ní Loingsigh; L Coen, A Trill, L Finnegan; M Seoighe, L Booth, D Keane.  

Westmeath (v Galway): C Faulkner; M Fagan, L Power (capt.), N Nolan; F Coyle, A Alford, C Kelly; Á Gaynor, T Dillon; A Jones, C Thornton, K Boyce-Jordan; S Dillon, K Hegarty, C Blundell.  

Lidl NFL Division 1B:


Cork v Waterford; Cork IT  

Cork have been Division 1 Finalists in every season bar 2018 (Dublin v Mayo) and 2020 (not completed due to Covid) since 2008.  

The Leesiders now find themselves in a battle to avoid the drop, as they welcome Munster rivals Waterford to Cork IT for a must-win game.  

The scenario facing both sides is exactly the same as Westmeath and Galway in Division 1A – the winners stay up, the losers will play in a relegation match against the bottom team from the other Division 1 pool.  

There’s lots at stake and ahead of throw-in, Cork have a better score difference (-14) compared to Waterford (-20).  

Cork and Waterford each make three changes in personnel following losses to Dublin and Meath respectively last time out.  

Cork’s squad is bolstered by the presence of four players from All-Ireland Senior Club Finalists on the bench.  

Cork (v Waterford): M O’Brien; D Kinry, R Phelan, M Cahalane; L O’Mahony, M Duggan, E O’Shea; A Hutchings, S Kelly; E Cleary, L Coppinger, A O’Mahony; R Leahy, K Quirke, O Finn.  

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

Lidl NFL Division 2A: 

Kerry v Laois; Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney 

Kerry were Division 2 runners-up last year and are safely through to another semi-final – and with promotion on their minds.  

Laois, however, have made an exceptional step up to the second tier, having won Division 3 last year, and are also assured of a semi-final slot.  

At Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, the two counties will now face off to determine first and second placings in Division 2A.  

The top team will meet the second placed team from Division 2B in the semi-finals, with the top team from Division 2B taking on the second placed team from 2A.  

Kerry (v Laois): M.E. Bolger; A Dillane, K Cronin, J O’Sullivan; A O’Connell, E Costello, K.A. Hanrahan; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; K Brosnan, A Galvin (capt.), M Johnston; L Ní Mhuircheartaigh, R Dwyer, F Houlihan.  

Laois (v Kerry): E Barry; C Dunne, A Potts, R Larkin; R Williams, E Healy, A Healy; J Moore, F Dooley; S Quigley, L.M. Maher, E Fitzpatrick; M Nerney, S.A. Fitzgerald, A Havill.

Tipperary v Clare; FBD Semple Stadium  

Tipperary were relegated from Division 1 last year and are now looking anxiously over their shoulders again.  

They host Munster rivals Clare at Semple Stadium in a tussle that will decide who stays up in Division 2, and who must fight it out for survival in a relegation play-off.  

Tipp have the better scoring difference (-6) against travelling Clare (-12).  

It’s a massive game for both teams as they aim to preserve second tier football for 2023.  

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

Clare (v Tipperary): M Glynn; O Devitt (capt.), T Kelly, G Harvey; S Ní Chonaill, L Ryan, E O’Gorman; A Reidy, S Considine; E McMahon, L Roche, C Moloney; A Sexton, F Marrinan, G Nolan.  

Lidl NFL Division 2B: 


Cavan v Tyrone; Kingspan Breffni  


Victory will be enough for Cavan to stay up if they beat Tyrone – but a draw or defeat will see them in a relegation play-off.  


For Tyrone, a draw or win will be good enough for a survival and they could yet make the semi-finals with a big victory.  


To achieve this, they have to hope that Armagh beat Monaghan and that their scoring difference is then good enough to edge out Monaghan for second place.  


Monaghan and Tyrone drew 0-10 apiece recently and if both teams finish level on four points, scoring difference will determine who advances to the semi-finals.  


Cavan (v Tyrone): 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.  


Tyrone (v Cavan): S McVey; C Munroe, C Nig Aoidh, K Murphy; J Lyons, E Mulgrew, S McCarroll; E.J. Gervin, N Hughes; C McCaffrey, E Hegarty, E Brennan; D Gallagher, N O’Neill (capt.), S Byrne.  

Monaghan v Armagh; St Tiernach’s Park, Clones  


Armagh are safely through to the semi-finals while at least a draw would be good enough for Monaghan to make it through.  


Even a defeat might yet suffice for Monaghan but that will all depend on the result of the Cavan-Tyrone tie.  


Armagh’s early season form has been impressive and after making a big impact in the TG4 Senior Championship in recent times, they’ll be keen to gain promotion from Division 2.  


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

Armagh (v Monaghan): 
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.


Lidl NFL Division 3A: 


Down v Louth; Páirc Esler 


The Division 3A table is beautifully poised ahead of the final round of fixtures.  

Down can guarantee themselves a semi-final place if they beat Louth, while the Wee County, who are currently bottom of the standings, would be right back in the mix with a victory.  


In an incredibly tight pool, the scoring difference makes for fascinating reading and could yet prove crucial.  


Down (+1) are at the head of affairs, followed by Roscommon and Sligo (0) and Louth (-1).  


Down (v Louth): C Kennedy; O Kelly, C Byrne, O Duffy; A McAlea, C McArdle, N McKibben; M Doherty (capt.), K White; A.M. Magee, J Foy, O Swail; V McCormack, N Ferris, S Dougherty.  


Louth (v Down): 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 Sligo; St Croans 


A straight shoot-out for a semi-final place lies in store here as Roscommon and Sligo prepare for a clash at St Croans.  


Roscommon are currently second behind Down in the standings on three points, one clear of Sligo who have drawn their two games to date.  


Both teams know that a victory will be good enough for a semi-final spot, while defeat for either side could see them end up in a relegation play-off.  


In a pool with so many permutations, a win for Louth against Down and a draw in the Roscommon-Sligo tie would leave Down, Roscommon and Louth all level on four points, with scoring difference then coming into play.  


Roscommon (v Sligo): 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 Hanly, J Higgins, N Feeney.  


Sligo (v Roscommon): L Gaughan; A Morrisroe, M McNamara, E McDermott; C Dunne, A Egan, J Lyons; S Reynolds (capt.), R Molloy; C Gorman, R O’Brien, L Casey; L Duffy, K Walsh, S Cunney. 


Lidl NFL Division 3B:  


Wexford v Longford; Shelmalier (Hollymount, Curracloe) 


Division 3B is another intriguing group – and with all to play for.  


Wexford will start the day at the bottom of the pile but if they beat Longford, they’ll make the semi-finals if Kildare account for Wicklow in the other game.  


Defeat for Wexford, however, would leave them facing into a relegation play-off.  


Even if Wicklow also lost to Kildare, which would leave Wexford and Wicklow on a point each, Wicklow would stay up on the head to head rule.  


Wicklow and Wexford drew in Round 2 but Wicklow would stay up as they converted more points over the bar (0-6) than Wexford (1-3).  


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


Longford (v Wexford): R Jones; S McCormack, E O’Brien, E Doris; C Farrell, K Crawford, A Noonan; M Victory, M Farrell; L McGuire, M Noonan, S Shannon; C Lohan, E Heaney, L Monaghan (capt.).


Kildare v Wicklow; Hawkfield  


Kildare welcome Wicklow to Hawkfield safe in the knowledge that they’re through to the semi-finals.  


Last year’s Division 3 runners-up will want to finish the group stages on a high but they’ll get nothing easy against a Wicklow side that could still qualify in second place.  


Wicklow could also finish a relegation play-off if they lose and Wexford take at least a point off Longford.  


The Garden County’s need is greater but Kildare have shown excellent form to date.   


Kildare (v Wicklow): J O’Toole; F Troute, L Lenehan, S Dowdall; S Munnelly, L Gilbert, R Cribbin; G Clifford (capt.), A Rattigan; C Wheeler, M Hulgraine, L Curran; M Cassidy, L Burke, G Wheeler.  


Wicklow (v Kildare): J Kinch; E Hadden, SJ Winders (capt.), 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.  


Lidl NFL Division 4A:  


Derry v Fermanagh; Lavey  


Bottom of the table Derry will aim to finish their campaign on a high note when they welcome Fermanagh to Lavey.  


It’s an interesting final round of group fixtures in Division 4A as a victory for Derry over Fermanagh, coupled with a Leitrim win against Antrim, would leave Fermanagh, Antrim and Derry all on three points.  


If that’s the case, scoring difference would come into play to decide second spot behind Leitrim.  


Derry (v Fermanagh): L Gunn; J Corr, D Donnelly, O McGough; E Doherty, A McGough (capt.), O McCloskey; C McGurk, A Frizelle; O McGeough, D Kivlehan, A Ni Lochlainn; B Donnelly, L McGonagle, N Browne.  


Fermanagh (v Derry): M Maguire; E Keenan, M McGloin, A Gordon (capt.); S McCarville, D Curran, S McQuade; B Bannon, C Bogue; N McManus, B Bogue, S Britten; C McElroy, E Smyth, L Grew.


Leitrim v Antrim; Ballinamore  


Leitrim’s fate is in their own hands. Win and they’re through to the semi-finals with three wins from three.  


A defeat would open the pool up as Antrim would join them on six points, and Fermanagh would also be six if they overcome Derry.  


In that case, scoring difference would come into play but Leitrim are healthy in that regard on +26, which is superior to Antrim (+8) and Fermanagh (-18).  


Leitrim (v Antrim): N Ryan; R Rooney, 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.  


Antrim (v Leitrim): A McCann; E.L. McAreavey, A McFarland, M Mulholland; D Coleman, N McIntosh, S O’Neill; G McLaughlin, M Magee; A Devlin, C Carey (capt.), M Woulahan; B Devlin, O Prenter, E Murphy.  


Lidl NFL Division 4B:  


Carlow v Limerick; Netwatch Cullen Park 


Carlow can’t progress to the semi-finals and they face a stiff final game in the group stages against high-flying Limerick.  


The Shannonsiders are through to the semi-finals on six points but will look to maintain their 100 per cent record when they make the trip to Netwatch Cullen Park.  


Limerick are a team to keep an eye on in League and Championship this year – and their early season form is promising.  


Carlow (v Limerick): 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; D Doyle, R Byrne, R Sawyer.  


Limerick (v Carlow): C Bateman; K Reidy, S O’Sullivan, R Daly; A Ryan, L Coughlan, M MacNamara; L Hanley, R Ambrose (capt.); I Kenneally, M Kavanagh, L Ryan; R Delee, C Davis, C Mee.


Offaly v London; Gaelic Park, Edenderry; 12.30pm  


It’s beautifully poised for Offaly and London ahead of this fixture – with the winners guaranteed a semi-final spot.  


If the sides draw, they’ll both be level on four points and the successful semi-finalist will be the team that scores the most points (scores converted over the bar) in this game.  


If they still can’t be split, it’ll come down to score difference, and Offaly (+13) have the edge on London in this regard (-1).  


Offaly (v London): E Evans; N Buckley, O Whelan, B Bryant; I Fleming, E Nally, R Ennis (capt.); E Maher, A Carey; A Gavin Mangan, E Hand, S McGuinness; S Doyle, C McEvoy, C Walsh.  


London (v Offaly): C O’Reilly; N O’Brien, R Hunt, N Mulholland; N Walsh, E O’Brien, R Murphy (capt.); J Quinn, B Casey; H Lydon, H Noonan, E Mulhern; R Mills, A Cunningham, A Shovlin.  


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