Lidl Ladies NFL previews: round two throws up intriguing clashes
03 February 2017
Dublin's Carla Rowe and Aislinn Desmond of Kerry with the Division 1 trophy at the launch of the 2016 Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues at Croke Park.
The Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues continue this weekend with sixteen games across all four divisions on Sunday.
Lidl National Football League Round 2 Previews
(All fixtures to be played on Sunday, February 5th unless otherwise stated)
Lidl NFL Division 1 - Round 2
Galway (H) v Donegal, 2.00pm, Tuam Stadium (G Carmody)
Two of the winners from round 1 of the Lidl National Football Leagues will meet in what is a vitally important match for both sides. Galway will have been buoyed by their victory over a Mayo side that they failed to beat in 2016. Their talisman, Róisín Leonard, was on top form for the Tribes as she struck 2-04 of their 2-08 tally. There was good news for Galway as players like Sinead Burke and Emer Flaherty returned to strengthen an already formidable squad. Donegal were convincing winners in their first round opener against Armagh with Paula McGrory netting twice. Donegal will have to hit top form if they are to take anything from their trip to Tuam but should McGrory, Amber Barrett and Geraldine McLaughlin hit form they are very capable of making it 2 from 2.
Monaghan (H) v Mayo, 2.00pm, St. Tiernach’s Park, Clones, (K McKeever)
Monaghan struggled against Dublin in their opening fixture as they scored just 5 points with only 2 of those coming in the second half. However, they will be aiming to produce a much improved performance in their first home match. Sharon Courtney has been their leader for much of the past decade and has proven to be one of the few defenders in the country that is capable of putting the shackles on Cora Staunton, should she do so this weekend Monaghan will be well on the way to their first win. Much of the focus in advance of their opening fixture against Galway was on the Mayo trio of Staunton, Yvonne Byrne and Martha Carter. All 3 returned to the team and performed well, with an extra week of training under their belts and a good outing against Galway you can expect big improvements from the Westerners.
Armagh (H) v Cork, 12.30pm, Clonmore, (B Rice)
Armagh suffered a comprehensive defeat against Donegal last week and they will be worried already about getting cut adrift at the foot of the table. Aimee Mackin continues to carry their scoring threat as she accounted for 6 of their 11 points; however, they must find scores from their other, talented, attackers if they are to hope to defeat the champions. Cork made light work of Kerry in their season opener despite missing their famous four of Corkery, Buckley, Stack and O’Reilly amongst others. This youthful Cork side looked frightfully good especially with Eimear Scally returning to action and netting their 5th goal of the match. Although Cork are on the road this weekend there is a feeling that they are out to disprove the notion that they are vulnerable in the early rounds of the League.
Kerry (H) v Dublin, 2.00pm, Castleisland Desmonds, (K Delahunty)
Kerry will be left reeling by their failure to turn up against their great rivals and neighbours in their opening round. Despite fielding a very strong team they were dominated by the Rebellettes who had effectively won the game by half time. Things don’t get easier this weekend as they welcome Dublin to Castleisland. Kerry will need to improve their performance if they are to get something out of this match but there is little doubt that, with the quality of their inside forward line of Ní Muircheartaigh, Houlihan and O’Connell, that they have the firepower to beat any team. Dublin will be encouraged by their performance in defeating Monaghan in their opener. Olivia Leonard staked her place for a starting position as she fired home a goal from centre forward and Sarah McCaffrey was in fine form on her return to the squad kicking three vital points from the middle of the field. Mich Bohan is clearly trying to increase the depth of this Dublin panel and is likely to give more players a chance to shine this weekend. Home advantage and a need for points will make Kerry hungry for victory but they will need to dig deep if they are to deny the visitors.
Lidl NFL Division 2 - Round 2
Cavan (H) v Clare, 2.00pm, Templeport, Bawnboy, (C McManus)
Cavan and Clare are two teams that are amongst the promotion favourites but both teams failed to win in Round 1. Cavan will be disappointed to have suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Westmeath but they will be pleased with their second half performance. Aisling Doonan continues to be their main source of scores and it was her that netted their second major late in that game. Clare opened their campaign with a good draw against Waterford in a game that could have gone either way. Niamh O’Dea kicked 1-05 for the Banner in their opener and she is the key to Clare’s hopes as she continues to be one of the very best forwards in the game. The winner of this match might be decided by which one of Doonan or O’Dea has a bigger influence on the game.
Kildare (H) v Tyrone, 2.00pm, St Conleths Park, Newbridge, (A Gallagher)
Kildare suffered a heart breaking defeat in round 1 as Laois won their head to head with the last kick of the game. Kildare will be worried that they let a good early lead slip out of their grasp. Tyrone will be very pleased with their first match in Division 2 as they defeated Sligo with the returning Gemma Begley amongst the goals. Begley is a forward that is capable of doing untold damage to opposition and her return is a huge boost for her county. Kildare will feel that they have to win this weekend or risk getting cut adrift at the bottom of the table whereas Tyrone will know that a victory will prove their credentials as title challengers.
Sligo (H) v Westmeath, 2.00pm, Cloonacool, Community Park, (K Corcoran)
Sligo were disappointed to suffer defeat at the hands of Tyrone last weekend but they are a very different proposition at home. Stephanie O’Reilly is their most potent attacker and she will hope to control proceedings from centre forward. Westmeath will be delighted with their opening day victory over rivals, Cavan. They will be determined to return to the final again this year despite facing a tricky fixture away to Sligo. Laura Walsh is a strong attacker for Westmeath and she will need to produce a good display if Westmeath hope to maintain their momentum.
Waterford (H) v Laois, 2.00pm, Waterford IT, (S McNulty)
Waterford will be satisfied with their Round 1 performance as they shared the points with Clare away from home. However, they will not want to drop any more points if they hope to reach the Top 4 if the Division. Laois will be buoyed by their fine performance and victory against Kildare last week. There are signs of resurgence in Laois and they will hope to continue that when they face Waterford. The home team will be the favourites going into this match but Laois could really propel themselves into the promotion picture with another win.
Lidl NFL Division 3 - Round 2
Roscommon (H) v Tipperary, Clan na nGael, Johnstown, (G McMahon)
Roscommon and Tipperary were both winners in Round 1 but they achieved their results with varying degrees of difficulty. It was reasonably straight forward for a Roscommon team that always kept Offaly at arm’s length whereas Tipperary looked like being upset for long periods only for a late goal glut to secure victory over a game Wexford side. Tipperary are the favourites for promotion and it will be interesting to see if that scare against Wexford will inspire them to improve their performance in their first home match.
Down (H) v Leitrim, 2.00pm, Ballykinlar, (Y Duffy)
Down have been boosted by the return of Kyla Trainor to their panel but they still suffered defeat to Meath at home last week. This weekend they welcome a Leitrim team that hammered Limerick last week. Dearbaile Beirne also emerged as a potential new star for the Leitrim Ladies as the Under 19 International soccer player scored all 5 of their goals. Leitrim will travel to Down expecting that they can keep up their winning start.
Wexford (H) v Offaly, 2.00pm, St Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy, (J Gallagher)
Wexford will feel encouraged by the level of their performance despite suffering defeat to Tipperary in round 1. The addition of Bernie Breen has been a huge boost to Wexford and you can expect them to improve further as the season progresses. Offaly were defeated by Roscommon conceding 4 goals along the way, they must improve defensively starting this weekend if they want to challenge for the Top 4.
Limerick (H) v Meath, 2.00pm, Staker Wallace, Martinstown, (D McEnery)
Limerick suffered a big defeat on their return to Division 3 and struggled for scores throughout the game. Meath, on the other hand, made the perfect start as they won on the road against one of their promotion competitors; Down. Limerick will need to make the most of their home games if they want to avoid a quick return to division 4 and that quest must begin with a win in Martinstown.
Lidl NFL Division 4 - Round 2
Wicklow (H) v Carlow, 2.00pm, Blessington, (P Burke)
Wicklow were untested when defeating Kilkenny easily last week and they will be favourites to repeat that performance when welcoming Carlow to Blessington. Carlow will be delighted with their win over Louth last week, a result that took many by surprise. They might struggle against a strong Wicklow side but another good performance could set them up for a great campaign.
Derry (H) v Antrim, 2.00pm, Owenbeg, Dungiven, (D Love)
Ulster rivals Derry and Antrim clash this weekend. Both teams were well beaten last week and will want to make up for those disappointments. Antrim are struggling since their TG4 Junior All Ireland Final loss last year but should see the visit of Derry as an opportunity to get their season back on track.
Longford (H) v Louth, 12.00pm, Rathcline, (C Dourneen)
Longford were comprehensive winners over Antrim last week but they will expect a bigger challenge when they welcome Louth to Rathcline. Louth will be desperately disappointed with their loss to Carlow and know they need to win this weekend if they hope to reach the Top 4.
Kilkenny (H) v Fermanagh, 1.00pm, Thomastown, (B Redmond)
Kilkenny struggled on their return to competitive action but that was understandable after being out of the sport for the past number of years and facing one of the best teams in the division. Unfortunately, things don’t get any easier this weekend as a strong Fermanagh team come to town after easily dispatching Derry last week.