Team sheets and previews: Lidl NFL Division 4 semi-finalists to be decided!

THE 2023 Lidl National League Division 4 semi-finalists will be confirmed next Sunday, March 5.

Division 4 is the only division where semi-finals will be used to determine 2023 Finalists – and the scene is set for a dramatic final day of group action.

In Division 4A, Antrim and Fermanagh will both look to make home advantage count against Carlow and London respectively, while Division 4B sees Derry play host to Limerick, as Wicklow welcome Leitrim to Aughrim.

The semi-finals on March 26 will see the Division 4A table-toppers play the second placed team from Division 4B, while the Division 4B winners will pit their wits against the Division 4A runners-up.

Sunday 5th March

Lidl NFL Division 4A

Fermanagh v London; Donagh, 12pm

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Fermanagh and London get Sunday’s action underway in a pivotal game.

A victory for Fermanagh would leave them on six points alongside Antrim, who play Carlow from 3pm.

If they manage to secure the result, Fermanagh will face an anxious wait to determine their fate.

An Antrim win over Carlow would put Fermanagh through in second place, but a Carlow victory would leave three teams locked together on six points.

In that case, it would come down to scoring difference to determine which two from Antrim, Fermanagh and Carlow will advance to the semi-finals.

Ahead of Sunday’s action, Antrim are in a very healthy position on +43, with Carlow on +14 and Fermanagh on -4.

London will be hoping to finish their campaign on a positive note, following defeats to Antrim and Carlow.

Victory for the Exiles on their travels to Donagh would put the cat among the pigeons.

That would leave them level on three points with Fermanagh and Carlow, ahead of the Antrim v Carlow fixture later in the day.

Antrim v Carlow; Davitt Park, 3pm

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Antrim, the reigning TG4 All-Ireland Junior champions, have their destiny firmly in their own hands.

Barring a major capitulation, the Saffrons will contest a semi-final by virtue of their 100 per cent record to date and a healthy scoring difference.

A draw or a victory for the Saffrons will assure them mathematically of progress to the last four.

Defeat to Carlow, and they should still be fine on scoring difference, should it come to that, as they start the weekend on +43.

Carlow are in a more uncertain situation ahead of the final round of games.

A victory over Antrim would move them onto six points alongside Sunday’s opponents, but a Fermanagh win over London would leave Antrim, Fermanagh and Carlow all on six points in that scenario, and scoring difference will then decide who goes through to the semi-finals.

There’s still a situation where Carlow could lose and still qualify for the semi-finals on scoring difference, but they would need to keep the score down against Antrim, and hope that London can beat Fermanagh for that to happen.

The result from the Fermanagh-London game earlier in the day will leave both Antrim and Carlow knowing exactly where they stand ahead of throw-in.

Lidl NFL Division 4A

Derry v Limerick; Owenbeg, 1pm

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Limerick make the trip to Owenbeg with their destiny in their own hands.

The Shannonsiders, who lost out in last year’s Division 4 Final to Offaly, can book their place in the semi-finals with a win.

Derry have lost two of their three fixtures – but they have managed a victory over Kilkenny in this year’s campaign.

The odds are stacked firmly in Limerick’s favour – as fellow promotion hopefuls Leitrim and Wicklow play in Sunday’s other Division 4B game.

Defeat for Limerick, however, would leave them on seven points, and with their eyes cast then to the Wicklow-Leitrim game.

Wicklow v Leitrim; Aughrim, 3.30pm

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Leitrim are table-toppers and with the best points difference, +67, in the Division.

Before play commences on Sunday, Leitrim are on seven points alongside Limerick, with Wicklow on six points.

Limerick may have already booked their place in the semi-finals before Wicklow and Leitrim throw-in, which will leave the second semi-final spot up for grabs.

It would then be a straight shoot-out between Wicklow and Leitrim to see who joins Limerick in the last four.

Despite their good form to date, unbeaten Leitrim will be conscious that they could still be edged out for a semi-final slot.

If Wicklow beat them, and Limerick also win, it’s Wicklow and Limerick who will progress.

In another potential twist, wins for Wicklow and Derry would leave Leitrim and Limerick locked together on seven points at the close of play, with Wicklow finishing on top of the pile.

In that scenario, it would be Leitrim who go through in second place as they drew with Limerick earlier in the season, but registered more points (18 to Limerick’s 9) in that 1-18 to 4-9 stalemate.

Team sheets in hyperlinks above

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