TESCO NFL Round 6 Previews

Galway v Monaghan - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final

This weekend marks the second last round of league action and means a lot of counties now know exactly what to do if they want to reach the knock out stages of the League. Victories for several counties this weekend will mean progress to the knock out stages will be guaranteed whilst at the bottom of the tables nothing short of a victory may help avoid relegation.


TESCO NFL Division 1


Dublin v Tyrone

Parnell Park,

2:00pm (Y. Duffy)


It is make or break time for Dublin in their quest to return to the Division 1 semi finals. If they are to have any hope of progress from the group stages they must secure a victory but either way they will still travel to Cork in the final round needing a win. Dublin have seemed listless this year as they have failed to hit the heights of 2014 but perhaps this can be explained by the loss of players like Sinead Aherne, Siobhan McGrath and Denise Masterson amongst others. Gregory McGonogle has introduced several exciting young talents to the squad but they will need to start producing and soon. Tyrone are pointless at the bottom of the table alongside Laois. They may be forgiven for having one eye on the relegation shoot out that will take place when they face Laois in the final round of matches. This talented group of players from Tyrone always have the potential to produce a shock but Dublin’s need for points along with home advantage in Parnell Park should see the Jackeens pick up the points on offer.


Monaghan v Galway


2:00pm (M. Farrelly)


This is the tie of the round in Division 1 of the league as the top side meet a Galway team that is very much on the up. Monaghan have been in stunning form since losing to Dublin in the opening round, winning every game since. A huge promotion effort has been targeted at this match to bring out the home support and this will mark the opening of the new Magheracloone GAA pitch. There are plenty of reasons for Monaghan to want to win this match but none will be bigger than knowing that a win will secure their passage to the semi finals. Galway have recovered well after their stumble away to Cork as they defeated Kerry at home. They are embroiled in a battle for third and fourth position that is too close to call at this point so they need the win to stay in the race for the semi finals. Edel Concannon has been in inspired form for Galway this season as she continues her goal streak whilst Tracey Leonard has also been to the fore. Monaghan call on one of the form players in the Division in Laura McEnaney who has been inspirational to Peter Clarke’s team but she will be up against Emer Flaherty this weekend in a duel that will possibly decide who will take the points. Monaghan will want to put on a display in front of a large home crowd but with that expectation comes pressure and Galway will be well equipped to take advantage of any slips, the Tribeswomen might just sneak this one.


Laois v Cork

Sarsfields, Mountmellick

2:00pm (J. Murphy)


Laois have had a tough league campaign to date. They remain rooted to the bottom of the table having lost all of their games. This is a team in transition that will probably be more focussed on a relegation battle in their final Legue game in round 7 versus Tyrone. Cork have not been impressive in the league to date but yet they have done what Cork always do, win matches. They are joint first in the division and know that a win this weekend will secure passage through to the semi finals. Cork will want to secure their place in the play offs this weekend as Eamonn Ryan will want to leave nothing to chance with Dublin visiting in the final round also needing points. Anything other than a Cork win would be a huge shock.


Mayo v Kerry

Elvery’s McHale Park,

2:00pm (J. Niland)


This is an intriguing battle between two counties whose form has fluctuated but who are both in contention for play off places. Mayo recorded a great victory over Dublin in Round 3 and followed that with victory over Tyrone only to suffer a big defeat at the hands of Monaghan last time out. There is no doubt that Cora Staunton is the class act in the team but Sarah Rowe showed her rich potential at the O’Connor Cup and you feel that she will have to produce that more often to help out the Carnacon legend. Kerry were defeated narrowly by Cork but were superb against Dublin in victory but followed that with defeat in a crunch match against Galway last time out. This is another crunch match and one that the Kingdom can’t afford to lose. As always when you face Mayo a plan must be made to curb the influence of Cora Staunton. Kerry are lucky that they have defenders like Aislinn Desmond and Cáit Lynch, either of whom may be able to limit Cora’s impact, most likely both players will be called upon. Key for Kerry will be unleashing the scoring potential of Louise Ní Muircheartaigh and Sarah Houlihan, both of whom must contribute on the scoreboard if Kerry are to win. McHale Park is the venue for this match and those surroundings might inspire Mayo to victory. If Cora is able to find space in this match then Mayo will be the likely winners.


TESCO NFL Division 2


Down v Kildare

Abbey Grammar School, Newry

2:00pm (C. McManus)


The collapse of Down since their great heights of 2014 has been stunning. The Intermediate All Ireland Champions have yet to take any points as they sit last in Division 2 and look odds on for relegation. They simply must win this weekend as they travel to Armagh in the final round. Kildare can secure their place in Division 2 for 2016 with victory this weekend. Kildare have been battling well throughout the league and will take hope from their victory over Meath. If Down can rediscover some form they could make this a very uncomfortable match for Kildare but on form it is hard to see anything but a second win and safety for Kildare.


Armagh v Meath


2:00pm (G. Corrigan)


Armagh will not be happy after their defeat away to Cavan in the previous round which left them sitting third in the division and needing a win to secure their passage to the semi finals. This talented Armagh side are amongst the favourites for the league and will want to put down a marker at home to Meath. This Meath side are a very skilfull group that are finding their feet under Diane O’Hora but they will not relish this trip to Armagh, who are yet to lose at home. Meath do need points to secure their place in the division but they will be hard to come by as they face Cavan in their final match. Armagh will want to make a point this weekend and put the Cavan match behind them with a victory over Meath and they should be able to do so.


Westmeath v Clare


2:00pm (C. Dourneen)


Westmeath are still very much in the running for the knock out stages and will be determined to secure their place this weekend with victory over Clare. Westmeath have struggled against the top teams and seeing that they have Donegal in the last round will only increase the importance of this fixture. Clare have only secured one point in their campaign to date and they know that it is not good enough. Improvement is needed but it is asking a lot of them to get a result against a top 4 team away from home. Westmeath should get the points they need in this fixture and progress to the knock out stages.


Cavan v Donegal

Kingspan Breffni Park,

2:00pm (B. Rice)


This is a curious fixture as the pace setters in Division 2 meet in Cavan. Both of these counties have secured their passage to semi finals already which lifts a lot of the pressure but with one eye on a future meeting in a final there may perhaps be some shadow boxing in evidence. However, there is still a signifcant reward for the winners of this match as they would be likely to avoid Armagh in the semi final. These are two top teams that are both brimming with talent but with home advantage it might be Cavan’s day.


TESCO NFL Division 3

Saturday, March 28th


Sligo v Tipperary

Markiewicz Park

2:00pm (G. McMahon)


Tipperary had a good win in their last match against Wexford as they continued their improvement as the league progresses. Sligo also had a great win as they handed Leitrim their first defeat of the campaign. Sligo need points to continue their charge towards the promotion places and Tipperary need the points to move away from relegation and push themselves towards the play off places. Sligo will be determined to win this one and playing in Markiewicz will be the extra incentive that they need.


Sunday, March 29th


Leitrim v Wexford


2:00pm (G. Carmody)


Leitrim are already through to the knock out stages so they will approach this match in a relaxed manor. Wexford need one point to ease any relegation worries but that point is unlikely to come this weekend.


Waterford v Longford

Fraher Field,

2:00pm (K. Delahunty)


This is a meeting of top versus bottom of the table. Waterford have been flawless this season as they maintain their 100% record and have already qualified for the semi finals of the tournament so they may be forgiven for taking the foot off the pedal. It has been a long season for the Longford Ladies who are rooted to the bottom of the table and will be condemned to Division 4 if they lose and Tipperary win or draw this weekend. The table toppers will be the last county that Longford will want to see this weekend and with this being away from home it will push them closer to relegation.


Roscommon v Fermanagh

St. Faithleach Ballyleague,

3:00pm (G. Chapman)


This is the biggest game in the Division this weekend with the most at stake. Roscommon have performed beyond expectations this season following their promotion as they chase a place in the semi finals as they sit 4th in the table, 2 points ahead of this weekend’s opposition. Fermanagh have had a roller coaster of a season with some very inconsistent results. However, Fermanagh are still in contention for a playoff place which they will secure with 2 wins from their last 2 fixtures. This will be a cagey affair with loads at stake but with more consistency as well as home advantage Roscommon should have just enough to win.


TESCO NFL Division 4

Sunday, March 29th


Antrim v Wicklow

The Dub,

1:00pm (P. Swift)


Antrim and Wicklow are both in contention for the play offs in Division 4. Antrim currently hold the advanatage as they hold a 2 point lead over Wicklow and a win would secure their play off place. This should give Antrim the motivation that they need to progress through to the knock out stages with a win this weekend.


Louth v Derry

O’Connell’s, Castlebellingham



Louth are in a strong position in the league as they sit in joint 4th but have a game in hand over their rivals in the play off race as well as having home advantage this weekend. Derry have yet to earn any points this season as they sit bottom of the table and it will be asking a lot of them to get those points away to Louth this weekend.


Offaly v Limerick


2:30pm (N. McCormack)


Limerick have the luxury of having already qualified for the knock out stages as they maintain a 100% record which will certainly ease worries ahead of a very difficult trip away to Offaly. The Faithful county are in joint second but their place in the semi finals is not yet secure. They will be determined to get a result this weekend and with Limerick already safely through Offaly must fancy their chances of getting the win they need.

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