WEEKEND PREVIEWS: Pace-setters look to make further progress on busy weekend of Lidl NFL action

THE pace-setters across the four divisions can take big steps towards coveted Final placings in the Lidl Ladies National Football League over the coming weekend.

In the top flight, two of the top three go head to head as Meath and Armagh put their 100 per cent records on the line while the other team with maximum points, holders Kerry, have a home fixture against Mayo.

The Kerry-Mayo fixture is on Saturday, while the other three Division 1 fixtures are pencilled in for Sunday.

There’s also a full schedule of games in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 on Sunday.

All four of the weekend’s Division 1 fixtures are available to view at https://page.inplayer.com/streamsportireland/



All games 2pm unless stated


Saturday February 17


Lidl NFL Division 1


Kerry v Mayo; Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, 2.30pm


Three teams are currently locked together on nine points at the head of affairs in Division 1 and with Meath playing Armagh on Sunday, Kerry have a chance to consolidate their high-flying standing.

The holders welcome Mayo to Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney and this is a crucial game for both sides.

Kerry can take a huge step towards another Final with victory here, while Mayo need the points to keep their heads above water.

The green and red were in a relegation dogfight last year and they’re in a cluster of three teams on three points each after three rounds, ahead of basement teams Galway and Waterford, who are both pointless.

Kerry have made no fewer than seven changes to the side that beat Cork last time out.

Goalkeeper Ciara Butler comes in for Mary Ellen Bolger, while there are also starts for Aoife Dillane, Bríd O’Connor, Ciara Murphy, Jess Gill, Danielle O’Leary and Jadyn Lucey, with Ciara O’Brien, Aishling O’Connell, Ciara McCarthy, Katie Brosnan, Emma Dineen and skipper Niamh Carmody sitting this one out from the start.

There’s just one change to the Mayo team defeated by Dublin last time out, with Maria Cannon coming in for Emma Needham.

The teams meet for the first time since last year’s TG4 All-Ireland semi-final, won by Kerry in Thurles.


Kerry: C Butler; E Lynch, D Kearney, A Dillane; B O’Connor, C Lynch, C Murphy; M O’Connell, A Galvin (capt.); J Gill, D O’Leary, A Harrington; H O’Donoghue, J Lucey, N Ní Chonchúir.


Mayo: L Brennan; A Fitzpatrick, N O’Malley, S Lally (capt.); K Sullivan, D Caldwell, J Mortimer; A Geraghty, H Reape; F McLaughlin, L Cafferky, M Cannon; T Needham, F McHale, S Walsh.


Sunday February 18


Lidl NFL Division 1


Cork v Waterford; Páirc Uí Rinn


Cork are not quite out of the running for a Final place but the Leesiders need to start picking up points.

Currently on three points, and with one victory from three outings, a second win of the campaign here would boost their hopes.

However, a defeat would leave Shane Ronayne’s charges in a relegation scrap, as Waterford, who’ve lost their last three games, would draw level with their Munster opponents in the divisional standings.

Another defeat for Waterford would leave them playing real catch-up and in an increasingly perilous position, with two teams facing the drop to Division 2 for the 2025 season.

Cork have handed starts to Aoife Healy, Anna Ryan and Ellie Jack for this home tie, as the trio come in for Amy McDonagh, Katie Quirke and Emma Cleary.

Cork will be anxious to bounce back from defeat to Kerry last time out as they prepare for the visit of unchanged Waterford.


Cork: S Murphy; M Duggan, S Leahy, D Kiniry; K Redmond, A Healy, A Ryan; M O’Callaghan (capt.), S Cronin; E Jack, L Coppinger, L O’Mahony; S O’Leary, H Looney, D Kiely.


Waterford: E O’Brien; H Power, E Power, A Murray; C McCarthy, A McNulty, A O’Neill; E Murray, K Hogan (capt.); K McGrath, C Carroll, M O’Brien; B McMaugh, K Murray, L McGregor.



Dublin v Galway; Parnell Park


Dublin finally got off the mark in the top flight with a crucial victory over Mayo in Ballina last time out.

Having suffered two previous defeats, another loss would have had Dublin in all sorts of trouble towards the bottom of the table.

Now, the TG4 All-Ireland champions will feel they can start looking towards the top end of the table but they’ll come up against a Galway side desperate for points.

The Tribeswomen are one of just two teams in the top flight, along with Waterford, who have lost their opening three games.

Having contested the 2023 Division 1 Final, another defeat here and Galway could be looking at the prospect of Division 2 fare next year, if their fortunes don’t turn for the better.

Galway will be heartened, however, by the fact that they enjoyed a comfortable victory over Dublin in last year’s competition.

In team news, key duo Jennifer Dunne and Hannah Tyrrell start for the first time for Dublin since last year’s TG4 All-Ireland Final win, with manager Mick Bohan making four changes in total to the team that beat Mayo in Ballina.

Chloe Darby and Hannah Hegarty also come into the Sky Blue starting line-up, with Niamh Donlon, Lauren Magee, Caoimhe O’Connor and Claire Kirwan making way.

Galway have made three changes to the team that started in defeat to Armagh, with goalkeeper Karen Connolly coming in for Dearbhla Gower, while Eabha O’Riordan and Meabh Walsh are also handed starts.

Chellene Trill and Caoimhe Cleary also drop to the bench ahead of the trip to the capital.



Dublin: R Fleming; N Crowley, L Caffrey (capt), M Byrne; H Hegarty, O Carey, K Murray; O Nolan, J Dunne; K Sullivan, C Darby, E Gribben; A Timothy, H Tyrrell, N Hetherton.


Galway: K Connolly; E Gavin, S Ní Loingsigh, E O’Riordan; K Geraghty, M Jordan, A Ní Cheallaigh; M Glynn, A Davoren (capt.); L Booth, S Hynes, M Walsh; L Coen, A O’Rourke, R Leonard.


Meath v Armagh; Ashbourne


Meath and Armagh are both flying in Division 1 and they come face to face in Ashbourne.

One of the three 100 per cent records in the top flight will go here, depending on the result, and these are two teams harbouring high hopes of contesting the April 7 Final at Croke Park.

Armagh have made a brilliant return to Division 1 after landing last year’s Division 2 crown, while Meath are something like their old selves again.

The Royal County won the 2022 Lidl NFL Division 1 crown and are knocking at the door once again as the 2024 season reaches a pivotal stage.

There’s one change to the Armagh team that got the better of Galway last time, with vastly-experienced midfielder Caroline O’Hanlon coming in for Niamh Murray.

On the Meath team, there’s also one alteration following a five-point victory over Waterford, with Meadhbh Byrne replacing Ailbhe Leahy in attack.

In an interesting sub-plot, this fixture pits current Armagh boss Gregory McGonigle against his predecessor, Shane McCormack, who’s now guiding the fortunes of Meath.



Meath: M McGuirk (capt); K Newe, A Sheridan, N Troy; N Gallogly, M.K. Lynch, A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, S Melia; M Thynne, E Moyles, C Smyth; M Byrne, M Farrelly, E Duggan.


Armagh: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge (capt.), R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; E Druse, A McCoy, S Quigley; A Mackin, L Kenny, K Mallon.



Lidl NFL Division 2


Monaghan v Donegal; Truagh


A crucial tie for both counties as Donegal are in the promotion hunt on six points, while Monaghan are yet to get off the mark.

With two teams facing the drop, Monaghan and Laois, who are also pointless, occupy the bottom spots.

Donegal have won two of their three games to date and with two teams ahead of them, Kildare and Tipperary, in action against each other, this is a chance for the visitors to Truagh to make further progress.


Monaghan: Ó Kelly; M Monaghan (capt.), N Cogan, S Brady; A Garland, C Nally, E Clerkin; J Duffy, Á Loughman; N Flanagan, É Sherry, C Treanor; L Garland, L Maguire, S Tierney.


Donegal: C Friel; S McLaughlin, A Temple Asokuh, E McGinley; C Keon, N Gordon, T Hegarty; R Rodgers, N Boyle; J McFadden, N McLaughlin (capt.), K Long; S White, K Herron, A Boyle Carr.

Tipperary v Kildare; Fethard Town Park (4G), 3pm


Kildare have kicked on after winning the Division 3 title last year and are one of two teams in the second tier, alongside Tyrone, who boast 100 per cent records after three rounds of fixtures.

The Lilywhites make the trip to Bansha to take on a Tipperary side who are also in the promotion reckoning, sitting on six points and just three adrift of the top two.

A win for Kildare on their travels would represent a significant result, while a Tipp success would blow the promotion race wide open.


Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; N Martin, L Spillane, E Cronin; K Downey, M Curley (capt.), N Martin; L Morrissey, A.R. Kennedy; N Towey, M Creedon, E McCarthy; E Morrissey, A McGuigan, A Moloney.


Kildare: A Dunlea; F Troute, L Lenehan, A Clifford; M Doherty, R Sargent, L Gilbert; G Clifford (capt.), E O’Toole; A Rattigan, E Dowling, S Munnelly; N Dooley, R Byrne, H McLoughlin.


Tyrone v Laois; Aghaloo

Laois contested a Division 2 Final last year but are in relegation trouble after three rounds of the 2024 season.

Laois have lost all of their games to date, in direct contrast to Tyrone, who have won every game they’ve played thus far in the second tier.

This is a vital fixture for both sides and a win for Tyrone could even see them on top of the standings at the close of play on Sunday.


Tyrone: C Donnelly; J Lyons, J Barrett, C Daly; C Campbell, Z Loughran, M Corrigan; M Mallon, A McHugh; A Horisk, E.J. Gervin, S Byrne; C McCaffrey, M Canavan, E Conroy.


Laois: E Barry; S Farrelly, C Dunne (capt.), M Cotter; Susie Delaney, A Moran, Sarah Delaney; A Moore, A Hennessy; R Allen, E Lacey, K Donoghue; M Nerney, L Kearney, G Lalor.


Westmeath v Cavan; TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar


Westmeath and Cavan have both collected a win each to date in the 2024 Lidl National League.

They’re sitting alongside each other on three points – three clear of the relegation zone and still in a precarious position.

A win for either side here would go a long way towards securing Division 2 football again next year and the stakes are high for both sides ahead of this Mullingar clash.


Westmeath: L McCormack (capt.); L Kiernan, L Power, L McCartan; C Kelly, F Coyle, R Dillon; K Boyce Jordan, V Carr; A Ruane, A Jones, C Clarke McMahon; K Hegarty, L Slevin, T Dillon.


Cavan: J Reilly; C Brady, Á Brady (capt.), L Crowe; H Gilsenan, R Dolan, R Gilsenan; Á Smith, C Halpin; Z Fay, S McCabe, D McCaffrey; C Charters, N McCorry, S Levingstone.


Lidl NFL Division 3


Antrim v Down; Davitt Park, Belfast


A real relegation six-pointer for both sides in this Ulster derby.

Antrim, promoted last year, are rock bottom and the only pointless team in the third tier to date.

They host Down, on three points and hovering just about the relegation zone.


Antrim: C Brown; D Coleman, E Ferran, N McArdle; C McKenna, C Brown (capt.), H Donaghy; A Mulholland, L Dahunsi; A Sheehan, L Agnew, C Logan; B Ní Cahail, E Rogers-Duffy, E Murphy.


Down: A McGivern; A Greene, O Boyle, P Smyth; N McKibbin, M Doherty (capt.), O Duffy; C Mulvenna, A Laverty; N Scullion, N King, L Duffy; A O’Higgins, N Ferris, N McClory.

Clare v Offaly; Cusack Park, Ennis


Clare battled to a draw against Roscommon last Sunday and now face another crucial clash with potential promotion consequences.

Clare, Roscommon and Offaly are all on seven points and now it’s Offaly’s turn to make the trip to Cusack Park in Ennis.

Offaly made up serious ground last Sunday on the back of the draw between Clare and Roscommon, coming from behind to claim a one-point victory over Louth.


Clare: A Lenihan; R Doohan, S Ní Chonaill, G Harvey; L Griffin, J Doohan, A Keane; C Harvey (capt.), L Ryan; A Reidy, A Considine, R Considine; L Griffey, C Moloney, F Marrinan.


Offaly: K Cunningham; A Grehan, M Mann, K Farrelly; N Buckley, E Hand, N Farrelly; A Gavin Mangan, E McEvoy (capt.); F Dempsey, C Sheridan, C Walsh; E Hackett, M Byrne, R Cockram.

Sligo v Roscommon; Eastern Harps GAA


With Clare playing Offaly, Roscommon have the chance to apply pressure on their promotion rivals.

Roscommon claimed a point away from home against Clare last Sunday but it could have been more as the visitors led by seven points at half-time.

Sligo bagged a point against Offaly on the opening day but have lost their last two games and are currently occupying one of the two relegation places ahead of this crunch Connacht derby.


Sligo: E McGuire; A Molloy, E McDermot, A Morrisroe; C King, C Dunne (capt.), T Breheny; S Cunney, S Regan; C Gilligan, L Kelly, J Lyons; R Smith, N Brennan, L Duffy.


Roscommon: H Cummins; A McGrath, E Irwin, A Mac Auliffe; R Fitzmaurice, S Wynne, C Cregg; L O’Rourke, K Nolan; L Fleming, L Shanagher, S Farrell; A Hanly, A Feeley, N Feeney.

Wexford v Louth; Chadwicks Wexford Park


Results went Wexford’s way last Sunday and they’re now just a point outside the promotion places following victory over Antrim.

The Model County can make another strong statement with victory at home to Louth but the travelling Wee County would rekindle their own promotion hopes with a win on the road.

Both Leinster teams will view this fixture as must-win if they are to maintain hopes of Division 2 football next year.


Wexford: S McCarthy; A Power, M Byrne, K English; R Hughes, A Halligan, S Harding Kenny; R Murphy (capt.), C Banville; C Ni Nuallain, C Donnelly, A Cullen; C Roban, T Doyle, C Foxe.


Louth: R Lambe Fagan; K Mathews, E Murray, S Mathews; H Lambe Sally, C O’Reilly, C McDonald; A Halligan, A Breen (capt.); L White, N Rice, K Murphy; M Duffy, E Byrne, K Flood.


Lidl NFL Division 4


Derry v Longford; Celtic Park


A draw for Longford against Limerick leaves the Midlanders on five points in the Division 4 standings, four points off the promotion places.

They’ll fancy their chances of gaining another three on their travels to Celtic Park, with hosts Derry yet to pick up a point this season.


Derry: E Conway; C McColgan, B Donnelly, J Corr (capt.); K Holly, M Devine, A Frizelle; A Kilpatrick, C Scullion; L Casey, Erin Doherty, A Martin; Emma Doherty, C Donnelly, D McKeever.


Longford: A Cooney; O Nevin, E O’Brien, G Kenny; K McKeon, L Shannon, C McCormack (capt.); S Gallagher, S Hagan; Clodagh Lohan, G Shannon; Caoimhe Lohan, N Brady, K Shannon.

Kilkenny v Fermanagh; St Martin’s GAA, Muckalee


Fermanagh claimed a crucial victory over Leitrim last Sunday and remain firmly on course for promotion.

Still unbeaten, and with Eimear Smyth in majestic form, they face a long trip to Kilkenny for their fifth game of the campaign and will be confident of leaving with three more points against the Noresiders, who have lost each of their four games to date.


Kilkenny: N Ward; A Galwey, E Coady, S Smith; K Ryan, A O’Neill, A Ring; K Comerford, E Lawlor (capt.); B Roche, H Brennan, N Ward; C Moore, B Lomax, R Roche.


Fermanagh: M Maguire; E Douglas, C Clarke, N Johnston; S McQuade (capt.), M McGloin, E Maguire; S Feeley, H Murphy; C Gallagher, B Bogue, A McCabe; B Smyth, E Smyth, E McMahon.

Leitrim v Limerick; Ballinamore


This is a key game in the promotion race as Leitrim, on nine points, host unbeaten Limerick, who are a point further back.

Just two rounds will remain after this weekend and a win for either side here would put them in a strong position ahead of the League run-in.


Leitrim: M Monaghan; E Bruen, C Tyrrell, C Owens; S Reynolds, K Bruen, O Flynn; N Tighe, M McGivern; V Egan, L O’Dowd, S Quinn; A Clancy, L Fox, B O’Rourke.


Limerick: C Bateman; M MacNamara, J McGuire, F Bradshaw; D Murphy, Y Lee (capt.), G Lee; R Ambrose, L Ryan; E Woulfe, C Mee, K O’Leary; I Kennelly, A O’Sullivan, R Browne.

Wicklow v Carlow; Echelon Park, Aughrim, 3.15pm


Wicklow edged past Derry last weekend but are playing serious catch-up in the promotion race.

They’re currently five points off a coveted top two finish while Carlow, who remain unbeaten, are sitting nicely poised on eight points, a point off Leitrim and two behind pace-setters Fermanagh.


Wicklow: E Griffin; M Corr, SJ Winders (capt.), S Goetelen; N Caffrey, C Murphy, R Byrne; A Gorman, M Healy; S Evans, S McGettigan, A Harmon; E O’Brien, N Cullen, L Dunne.


Carlow: N Hanley; A Carroll, A Roche, S McCullagh; R Bermingham (capt.), N Murphy, N Forde; M Townsend, R Bailey; E Hayden, B Nolan, S Doyle; R Sawyer, M O’Neill, C Ní Shé.


Note: Venues subject to change depending on weather conditions.



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