TESCO NFL Round 2 Previews

Dublin v Galway - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Semi-Final

The second round of TESCO National Football League action gets underway this evening when Monaghan host Tyrone in their Division 1 encounter. Other fixtures to keep an eye out for are the meeting of Cork and Kerry along with the Tuam Stadium clash between Dublin and Galway. Armagh and Westmeath should provide plenty of fireworks in Division 2 Waterford versus Fermanagh standing out in Division 3 as does Louth versus Antrim in Division 4. Here are our previews of each match this weekend.


Friday, February 6th


TESCO NFL Division One


Monaghan v Tyrone




The new era for Monaghan under the stewardship of Peter Clarke got off to a disappointing start as they failed to perform against Dublin in Round 1. A return of just three points was far below the level needed. However, this was their first competitve match since August and will have shaken off many cobwebs. Their defensive work was still top class even though they were under pressure throughout but had strong performances from Sharon Courtney and Grainne McNally whilst Cora Courtney was prominent throughout. More will be expected from their forward unit and especially Caoimhe Mohan and Cathriona McConnell. Tyrone also will be searching for their first points of the campaign following their heavy defeat at home at the hands of Kerry last time out. Tyrone failed to score in the first half of that match and they will know that any repeat performance on Friday night will be punished. Monaghan should have enough to get their campaign back on track especially if their big guns start firing.


Sunday, February 8th


TESCO NFL Division One


Cork v Kerry


2:00pm (G. Carmody)


This is the tie of the round as the great rivals prepare to do battle for the first time in 2015. Cork dispelled any thoughts that they may be complacement with a superb win on the road against Mayo last week. Valerie Mulcahy was the star turn with a personal tally of 1-07 as she renewed her partnership with fellow goal scorer Grace Kearney. Kerry travelled to Tyrone last time out but were not tested as they would have wished. Especially pleasing for manager, Alan O’Neill, would be the goalscoring debut of young star Eilish Kavanagh. This will be a cracker of a match but with Cork in determined form in front of a large home crowd expect the champions to record a second victory.


Galway v Dublin

Tuam Stadium

2:00pm (G. Chapman)


Galway were the big winners in Round 1 as they hammered Laois in Tuam Stadium. This time though, Dublin are the visitors and will be likely to present a much tougher challenge. Tracey Leonard produced the performance of Round One finishing the match with a personal tally of 3-03 but will be very tightly marked this time out. Dublin produced a powerful performance in DCU to defeat Monaghan conceding only 3 points on the way to victory. They had strong performers throughout the pitch with Sinead Goldrick, Sarah McCaffrey and Carla Rowe being particularly impressive. Hannah Noonan is a recent addition to the squad and the former Parnell’s player will improve further having played her first match in blue. Galway are going to be a real force in ladies football this year but they will know a lot more about where they are after facing this impressive Dublin outfit. However, Dublin are in ominous form and won easily in round 1 despite not hitting top gear and, with another improved performance this weekend, they should return to the capital with the points.


Laois v Mayo

Sarsfield, Moutmellick


(J. Murphy)


The good news for Laois is that it can’t get much worse than the 6-15 to 1-04 defeat they suffered against Galway. There is a lot of hope in Laois that new manager, Christy Dunphy, can instigate a return to winning ways but their Round 1 result has shown that it will be a difficult task ahead. Mayo also lost in round 1 but for long periods they had Cork on the ropes as they lead at half time. Cora Staunton is still the inspiration for this team but it will have pleased Frank Browne that players like Sarah Rowe also got amongst the goals. A victory for Laois would be a surprise considering their first round and facing a player like Cora Staunton when they are lacking in confidence will not be what they would have wanted, the visitors should have too much for Laois but an improved performance in Sarsfields could be the catalyst their season needs.


TESCO Homegrown NFL Division Two


Clare v Meath



(D. McEnery)


Clare were embarassed last week as Cavan defeated them by 32 points to give them the worst possible start to the season. This weekend it will be Meath who come to Kilmihil where Clare will have to produce a vastly improved performance to have any chance. Meath will be hurt after they lost out to Kildare by a single point in their home match. Diane O’Hora will look at this fixture as an ideal way to build up confidence after last week’s loss but she will know that Clare at home are a different prospect. Meath should have enough to win this one but it might not be by a big margin.


Down v Donegal

Abbey Grammar School


(C. McManus)


Down were brought crashing down to earth by Westmeath last weekend as the 2014 Intermediate All Ireland Champions were hammered 7-19 to 0-04. This weekend they face a Donegal side that is yet to see any action after weather claimed their round 1 opener against Armagh last weekend. Donegal will be hungry and ready for action as they were all boosted by Termon’s All Ireland club victory. Although Down are the home side it should be an away win for one of the favourites to clinch the Division.


Cavan v Kildare

Kingspan Breffni Park


(J. Niland)


Cavan were the big winners in Round 1 as they recorded a resounding victory over Down. They will be hoping to keep their momentum going with Kildare coming to Kingspan Breffni Park. Cavan will be amongst the favourites for promotion from the Division but this weekend they face a Kildare team who will also be expected to figure in the race for the top 4. It was a brilliant win for Kildare away to old rivals, Meath, last weekend and one that will certainly boost confidence as they travel to Cavan. This will be a tight and tough battle between two good teams but with home advantage Cavan will be disappointed if they emerge with anything other than a victory.


Armagh v Westmeath



(G. Corrigan)


Armagh will welcome a return to action this weekend as the weather saw their Round 1 match with Donegal cancelled. They couldn’t hope for a tougher challenge than the one that will be presented by Westmeath. Last year’s Division 2 runners up will come into this match high on confidence after a thundering win against Down last time out. These two teams could easily contest the Division 2 final later in the year so this could be a very cagey encounter between the two sides. Westmeath are strong in midfield where players like Johanna Maher and Maud Anne Foley usually dominate; however, this weekend they meet Caroline O’Hanlon who is the current player of the Year. This game is the headline clash in Division 2 and whilst a draw would not be a surprise it should be Armagh who make home advantage count.


TESCO NFL Division Three


Tipperary v Leitrim

JK Bracken


(S Mulvhill)


Tipperary are getthing their 2015 campaign under way after snow forced cancellation of their round one meeting with Fermanagh. Their opponents are Leitrim who had a good victory over Roscmmon in their opener scoring 4 goals on their way to the win. Rustiness will be a factor in this tie with Leitrim expecting to get their second win of the campaign under their belts against a youthful Tipperary outift.


Roscommon v Longford



(M. Kenny)


Roscommon were promoted to Division Three but suffered defeat on their opener at the hands of Leitrim. However, with Longford travelling to Strokestown following an opening defeat to Sligo in their first match it should be another unhappy trip to Connacht for this young side.


Waterford v Fermanagh

Fraher Field


(K. Phelan)


Waterford opened their promotion campaign with a one point victory over Wexford last week but there were plenty of reasons for concern as they scored only 9 points against the 2014 All Ireland Junior champions. Fermanagh will enter this match without having had the benefit of a round 1 tie after their match with Tipperary was cancelled due to bad weather. Again there will be a heavy reliance on the Little sisters in Fermanagh but there is no doubt that if they can have an influence on the game that it will make the Ulster team a very difficult prospect. Both of these sides have real promotion ambitions but it will be Waterford that should do enough to record a second victory.


Sligo v Wexford

Cloonacool Community Park


(Y. Duffy)


Sligo had a good start to their campaign with a win over Longford last weekend after scoring a very healthy 1-16 in the process. They will be looking to take another big step towards the knockout stages with a victory over Wexford this Sunday. Wexford produced a positive display losing out to Waterford by only a point but with a second match away from home it will be asking a lot of this young Wexford side to be victorious this time out.


TESCO Homegrown Division 4


Louth v Antrim

Newtown Blues



Louth and Antrim have a healthy rivalry that always produces good matches. This is the season opener for the counties who will both want to be in the shake up for promotion. In the home of Newtown Blues on Sunday it should be Louth’s first win of the season but the margin of victory will be very small.


Offaly v Derry

Offaly return to Division 4 after a difficult 2014 that saw them relegated. However, this is a team that always has great potential to perform and if they produce their best they should figure towards the top of the table at the end of the campaign beginning with a victory over Derry on Sunday.


Wicklow v Limerick


These two sides both have potential to be contenders for the Division 4 title in May making victory this weekend vital for either side. Limerick have brought through some great talent from their underage ranks which should tip the scales in their favour on Sunday.


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