A look ahead to another weekend of LGFA league action

Compiled by Jackie Cahill

THERE’S another full round of fixtures down for decision over the coming weekend in the 2024 Lidl National League.

The clash between Connacht rivals Galway and Mayo is Saturday’s sole fixture – with this Division 1 clash set for the live TG4 treatment (3.15pm).

On Sunday, the other three top-flight fixtures are down for decision, as Cork host Armagh, Kerry entertain Waterford, and Dublin make the trip to Navan for a clash with Meath.

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

All games 2pm unless stated


Lidl NFL Division 1 

Galway v Mayo; Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, 3.15pm – Live on TG4
Galway and Mayo meet for the first time in a competitive game since the 2023 TG4 All-Ireland quarter-final, won by Mayo with a dramatic late point from Shauna Howley.

Both Connacht rivals began their Division 1 campaigns with defeats on the opening day.

Galway lost out to Cork in Bishopstown, as Mayo came up short against Meath in a high-scoring encounter at the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome.

The pressure is on both sides now to pick up valuable Lidl National League points, with the bottom two teams in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 set for relegation this year.

Mayo narrowly avoided the drop in 2023 and they’ll be anxious to ensure there are no similar worries this time, while Galway contested last year’s top flight Final against Kerry.

Both Galway and Mayo have named unchanged starting line-ups for this Connacht derby.

Galway: D Gower; M Jordan, S Ní Loingsigh, E Gavin; K Geraghty, C Trill, A Ní Cheallaigh; M Glynn, L Coen; M Walsh, A Davoren (capt.), S Hynes; C McCarthy, A O’Rourke, A Molloy.

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


Lidl NFL Division 1 

Cork v Armagh; Páirc Uí Rinn, 1pm  
Cork and Armagh renew acquaintances for the first time since last year’s TG4 All-Ireland quarter-final, won by Cork away from home.

Both sides began their campaigns with victories last Sunday, Cork getting the better of Galway as Armagh impressively accounted for Waterford.

Weather conditions should be more benign for both sides this time around and an intriguing tie lies in store.

Armagh look well equipped to do well on their return to the top flight, while Cork will also be anxious to make an impression and push for a top two finish and a place in the Final on Sunday April 7 at Croke Park.

Both sides are unchanged from their opening games for this Round 2 fixture.

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

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.

Meath v Dublin, Páirc Tailteann

Meath and Dublin have developed quite a rivalry in recent times and they meet on Sunday for the first time since the 2023 TG4 Leinster Final, won by the Sky Blues.

Meath looked good against Mayo last weekend, with the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome proving conducive to good football.

Dublin lost out at home to Kerry at Parnell Park but they suffered a similar fate against the Kingdom in League and Championship last year and were still crowned All-Ireland winners at the end of the season.

Dublin manager Mick Bohan won’t be in the mood for panic but as he experiments throughout the League, he’ll be keen to avoid getting dragged into any relegation problems at the same time, with the bottom two teams in the top flight facing the drop to Division 2.

Meath are unchanged following their win against Mayo, as Bohan makes five changes in personnel.

All Star goalkeeper Abby Shiels replaces Rachael Fleming, with Aishling Nyhan, Annabelle Timothy, captain Carla Rowe and Ellen Gribben also earning starts. Chloe Darby, Jodi Egan, Katie Murphy and Laura Grendon also drop to the bench

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.

Dublin: A Shiels; N Crowley, L Caffrey, N Donlon; L Magee, M Byrne, H Hegarty; N Hetherton, O Carey; C O’Connor, O Nolan, A Nyhan; A Timothy, C Rowe (capt.), E Gribben.

Kerry v Waterford; Fitzgerald Stadium  
Champions Kerry got the defence of their Lidl National League Division 1 crown off to a perfect start with victory against Dublin last Saturday in the capital.

Now the Kingdom will aim to make it two wins from two outings against visitors Waterford, who will make the trip to Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney.

The sides last met in competitive football in the Munster Championship last year, a fixture won by Kerry, and Waterford will be determined to give a good account of themselves here.

The Déise need to start picking up points in their coming fixtures to avoid a relegation scrap, while Kerry will be targeting continued progress and another Final spot in April potentially.

Kerry have made four changes in personnel for this home tie, with Ciara Butler replacing Mary Ellen Bolger in goals, while Eilís O’Connor, Ciara Murphy and Lorraine Scanlon are also handed starts, as Ciara McCarthy, Aishling O’Connell and Anna Galvin are listed among the substitutes.

There’s one change on the Waterford team, as Bríd McMaugh comes in for Tao Behan.

Kerry: C Butler; C O’Brien, D Kearney, A Dillane; E O’Connor, K Cronin, C Murphy; A Harrington, L Scanlon; K.A. Hanrahan, N Ní Chonchúir, N Carmody (capt.); K Brosnan, E Dineen, J Lucey.

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.

Lidl NFL Division 2  

Donegal v Kildare; Letterkenny, 12pm
Two counties with big promotion hopes got off to winning starts last Sunday.

Donegal, relegated last season, got the better of Laois away from home, as Kildare, last year’s Division 3 champions, began life in the second tier with victory over Monaghan.

With the top two finishers in the Division earning promotion to the top flight, a win for either side here would put them in a very good early season position.

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

Kildare: N Barnes; F Troute, L Lenehan, A Clifford; M Doherty, R Sargent, L Gilbert; G Clifford (capt.), C Sullivan; A Rattigan, E Dowling, S Munnelly; N Dooley, R Byrne, L Curran.

Tyrone v Tipperary; O’Neills Healy Park, Omagh, 1.45pm
Tyrone and Tipperary are two teams who also harbour genuine promotion ambitions in a highly-competitive group.

Tipperary got the better of Cavan away from home last weekend, as Tyrone won against Westmeath at home.

Crucial points are on offer here as both sides aim to maintain 100 per cent starts and continue a push towards the top two slots.

Tyrone: C Donnelly; J Lyons, J Barrett, C Daly; C Campbell, E Mulgrew, M Corrigan; M Mallon, A McHugh (capt.); A Grimes, A Horisk, A Strain; C McCaffrey, M Canavan, E Conroy.

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

Monaghan v Westmeath; Castleblayney
Both counties will be aiming for their first victory of the new campaign.

Monaghan lost out to Kildare by four points in their opening Division 2 fixture, as Westmeath fell by five against Tyrone.

A win for either side here would help to stave off any early season relegation worries, and put them on a path to possible promotion.

Monaghan: Ó Kelly; A Bannigan, B McNally, S Brady; M Monaghan (capt.), J Duffy, E Clerkin; J McQuillan, Á Loughman; A Garland, L Maguire, C Treanor; C McBride, É Sherry, S Tierney.

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 v Laois; Knockbride
Cavan mustered just two points against Tipperary last weekend, albeit in difficult weather conditions.

A more benign Sunday afternoon should lead to better football as Laois make the trip to Knockbride.

Laois troubled the scoreboard operator just three times in defeat to Donegal but both teams can be productive this time as they target a first win of the season.

Cavan: E Baugh; N Briody, Á Brady, L Crowe; H Gilsenan, R Dolan, R Gilsenan; Á Smith, C Halpin; Z Fay, S McCabe; D McCaffrey, C Charters, N McCorry.

Laois: E Barry; S Farrelly, C Dunne (capt.), I Finlay; M Cotter, A Moran, C Malone; A Moore, A Lalor; R Allen, E Lacey, K Donoghue; M Nerney, A Fitzpatrick, O Hennessy.

Lidl NFL Division 3 

Clare v Sligo; Clarecastle, 12pm
Clare are genuine promotion contenders and after losing last year’s Division 3 Final narrowly after extra-time to Kildare, the Banner County will be anxious to get the job done this season.

They got off to a winning start away from home against Wexford and have home advantage this time for the visit of Sligo.

The Westerners earned themselves a point on their visit to Offaly in Round 1 and will travel in good spirits.

Clare: A Lenihan; A Keane, G Harvey, R Doohan; R Considine, J Doohan, S Considine; C Harvey (capt.), L Ryan; T Collins, C Hickey, C McCarthy; C Moloney, F Marrinan, A Sexton.

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

Down v Wexford; Páirc Esler, Newry, 1pm
Two sides who lost their opening round fixtures meet in Newry.

Down lost out by seven points against Roscommon and will be hoping for better fortunes at home to Wexford.

Sunday’s visitors began their campaign with a three-point loss to Clare but will have taken positives from their display against the promotion favourites.

Down: A McGivern; A Greene, C Byrne, O Boyle; N McKibbin, M Doherty (capt.), O Duffy; C Mulvenna, A Laverty; N Scullion, A Brogan, L Duffy; A O’Higgins, N Ferris, A Cull.

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.

Offaly v Antrim; Edenderry
Offaly narrowly avoided relegation last year and will have been content with a point from their opening game against Sligo.

The Faithful County will look to make home advantage count against an Antrim side hoping to consolidate in Division 3 this year, having won the 2023 Division 4 crown.

Antrim went down by four points at home to Louth last weekend and will be looking to pick up points quickly to avoid being dragged into a relegation fight.

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

Antrim: S Murphy; D Coleman, N Ferran, C McKenna; G Shannon, C Brown (capt.), H Donaghy; A Mulholland, L Dahunsi; T Mellon, C Taggart, A Sheehan; B Ni Cahail, A Taggart, C Logan.

Roscommon v Louth, Kiltoom
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 (capt.)

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

Lidl NFL Division 4 

Derry v Leitrim, FaughanvaleGoals proved crucial for Leitrim last time out as they bagged four in victory over Wicklow, to earn a three-point win.

That’s left the 2023 runners-up with the only 100 per cent record in the Division, as Derry look to get off the mark.

The Oak Leafers have suffered losses to Carlow and Limerick thus far.

Derry: E Conway; C McColgan, A McGough, J Corr (capt.); A Crozier, M Devine, S Heron; C Scullion, B Donnelly; C McGurk, Emma Doherty, A Martin; Erin Doherty, C Donnelly, C Moore.

Leitrim: M Monaghan; E McHugh, C Tyrrell, C Owens; S Reynolds, K Bruen, O Flynn; N Tighe, A Quinn; V Egan, M Guckian (capt.), S Quinn; A Clancy, L Fox, E Bruen.

Fermanagh v Wicklow; Donagh
Fermanagh have three points from two games but will feel perhaps they should have more. In the proverbial game of two halves, Fermanagh squandered a 14-point lead against Carlow, who rallied brilliantly to claim a draw last weekend.

Wicklow followed up on their draw with Limerick with defeat to Leitrim and they’ll be anxious to claim a first win of the campaign.

Fermanagh: M Maguire; C Clarke, S McQuade (capt.), E Keenan; E Douglas, C Murphy, C Bogue; S Feeley, S McCarville; B Bogue, E Smyth, N McManus; D Maguire, L Maguire, A McCabe.

Wicklow: E Griffin; C Lancaster, S.J. Winders (capt.), C Murphy; A Kavanagh, E Parke, L Dunne; S Goetelen, N Caffrey; S Evans, S McGettigan, N Cullen; M Healy, E O’Brien, M Corr.

Limerick v Kilkenny; Feohanagh/Castlemahon
Limerick remain unbeaten after two games, as the Shannonsiders beat Derry last weekend to follow up on their draw with Leitrim.

Limerick will be confident of claiming a semi-final spot and they should claim the points on offer at home to Kilkenny.

The Noresiders are showing signs of improvement and they scored 2-1 in defeat to Longford last time out.

Limerick: R Ambrose; S Dillon, J McGuire, R Browne; M Mac Namara, E Woulfe, G Lee; K Heelan, F Bradshaw; K Kennedy, L Coughlan, A Murphy; L Ryan, C Mac Namara, C McGrath.

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

Carlow v Longford; Netwatch Cullen Park
Carlow, in fourth, meet Longford, who sit in fifth position before the weekend’s fixtures.

Carlow produced heroics last weekend as they came from 14 points behind to earn a share of the spoils.

Longford, relegated last season, lost to Fermanagh in their opening fixture but they recovered to get the better of Kilkenny in Round 2.

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.

Longford: R McGrath; L Shannon, E O’Brien, G Kenny; O Nevin, C Mulligan, C McCormack (capt.); S Gallagher, E O’Reilly; L Maguire, G Shannon, Caoimhe Lohan; Clodagh Lohan, N Brady, K Shannon.

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