TESCO HomeGrown NFL Division 4 Semi Finals

This weekend the TESCO HomeGrown National Football Leagues enter the knock out stages with the Division 4 semi finals taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Roscommon and Limerick will get proceedings underway on Saturday when they meet in Birr at 7pm with the second semi final taking place in Iniskeen on Sunday at 2pm and features the meeting of Offaly and Antrim.


Roscommon and Limerick met in the second round of the league in February in a game that saw the Roscommon girls enjoy a comprehensice 10 point victory. However, Roscommon manager, Kieran Kilkenny, is under no illusions about the size of the task facing them on Saturday ‘I wouldn’t read to much into the league result as Limerick were missing a lot of players that day who were involved in the camogie intervarsities. We started this season with a totally clean slate and have assembled a fairly new squad so Sunday will be a good indicator of where we are.’ Roscommon will have to do without the services of DCU forward, Cliodhna McHugh who has been ruled out with a foot injury.


Limerick qualified for the semi final after a resounding victory over Offaly in the final group game where they comprehensively defeated the Faithful women who had already qualified for the semi final. Manager, Andrew Meaney, has been boosted by the return of ace attacker, Dymphna O’Brien, who scored 6 goals and 4 points in that victory over Offaly, speaking about the influence of Dymphna O’Brien her manager said ‘Having Dymphna back is a huge boost to the squad, we were missing her influence not just on the scoreboard but her leadership on the pitch too where it is like having an extra coach on the field.’ Last time the sides met, Limerick suffered a heavy defeat but this weekend there will be 8 players on the starting 15 that were not available that day ‘We were missing a lot that day because of the Ashbourne Cup and other circumstances but we have almost a full panel to pick from now so for us it is about finding consistency. If we play like we did against Offaly then we will be in with a shout but if we perform as we did against Antrim then it will be a difficult day.’ Limerick will be missing their regular full back, Ailbhe Neary, on Saturday but can otherwise call on a full strength squad.


In the other semi final Offaly will face Antrim in what should be a very close game. Offaly finished the group stage of the competition at the top of the table thanks to some excellent early form but they will be coming into this semi final after suffering a heavy defeat last time out to an improving Limerick side. When the two sides met during the league it was Offaly that came out on top but manager, Greg Farrelly knows that this a totally different occasion ‘When we played Antrim it was only their first game and we were playing our third which made a big difference, we know it is a totally different game on Sunday and everything is at stake.’ Offaly have reached the semi finals in the previous two years but have struggled to progress any further, ‘At the start of the season we set ourselves the target of reaching the semi finals and we have achieved that, now we want to reach a final and that is the goal, we are taking it one game at a time and on Sunday we face the Junior All Ireland champions and we know we will need to be at our best.’


Antrim also suffered defeat in their final group game as they were beaten by a goal in a highly entertaining encounter versus Roscommon. The All Ireland Junior Champions are no strangers to the spotlight after their heroics in Croke Park. However, their manager, Brian Coyle admts that their form has been patchy to date as they only won two matches during the league ‘Offaly were extremely strong in the league and they will be going into this game as favourites, we are under no illusions that we will be underdogs but we are going into this game to win it and if we are at our best as we were last September then we will have a good chance of creating an upset. Our aim at the start of the season was to get out of division 4 and get more experience for this young squad and despite out difficulties so far we are still in contention to achieve those aims.’ Antrim will have to do without the services of their wingback, Niamh Adams, who has been rules out with a hamstring injury.


TESCO HomeGrown National Football League Division 4 Semi Final


Saturday, April 20th


Roscommon v Limerick

Birr, throw in at 7.00pm

Pat Kehoe


Sunday, April 21st


Offaly v Antrim

Iniskeen, throw in at 2.00pm

Brian McCallion

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