Its another busy weekend of ladies GAA and we have Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues Round 7 Previews.
Lidl NFL Division 1 Fixtures
Kerry v Tyrone, Fitzgerald Stadium, 12:00pm (K. Delahunty)
No match this weekend has more at stake than in Fitzgerald Stadium. Kerry need victory to secure a semi-final position whereas Tyrone must win, and hope Monaghan lose, to force a relegation play-off decider. The Kingdom have had a mixed campaign but recorded their first away victory against Monaghan last week to put themselves firmly into the top 4 picture. Tyrone’s difficult Division 1 campaign is only one match away from coming to an end. Anything but victory away to a Kerry team, who are always strong at home, will see them relegated to Division 2.
Cork v Armagh, Éire Óg, 1:00pm (N. McCormack)
Cork must win and even still they need results elsewhere to go their way if they want to progress to the knock out stages. The best results that can happen for Cork would be a victory of their own coupled with wins for Dublin and Tyrone; their loss of the head to head fixture with Kerry means that they could still miss out on qualification even if they do win against Armagh. It is a similar situation for the visitors, although a win will secure their qualification for the semi-finals without needing to rely on results elsewhere. They need to produce a performance against the Rebellettes to give themselves hope of qualification. With this match being on the road for Armagh, and considering Cork’s need for points, this could be the most difficult match of the year for Ronan Clarke’s team.
Mayo v Monaghan, Ballina Stephenites, 2:00pm (G. Chapman)
Monaghan sit second bottom of the table and only 3 points ahead of Tyrone. Should Tyrone win against Kerry, and Monaghan fail to take any points from Mayo it would leave Monaghan facing the prospect of a relegation play-off. Mayo sit top of the table with a 100% record and will finish top of the table regardless of the results this weekend. Cora Staunton has been her usual, prolific self for Mayo this season but what is more telling is that players like Sarah Rowe and Aileen Gilroy are starting to fulfil their rich potential.
Dublin v Galway, Parnell Park, 2:00pm (M. Farrelly)
A win for Galway would move them level on points with Dublin and should that win be by more than 9 points they move ahead on score difference. Dublin are not sure of qualification yet for the semi-finals although a win over Galway would make certain of their progression but a loss has the potential to land them in a 5 way tie for second place. Galway are clearly still reeling from their loss of captain, Tracey Leonard, and they suffered a demoralising defeat at the hands of Cork in Tuam last week. If Galway are to salvage something from their season they need to win this Sunday and they must win well. This is an unlikely result but there can be little doubt that this Galway side are a talented bunch and have the capability of upsetting Dublin.
Division 1 Summary
Mayo have qualified in 1st place and will play the 4th placed finishers in the semi-finals. Armagh, Dublin, Kerry, Cork and Galway can all qualify for the semi-finals depending on results in final round. Tyrone will be relegated if they do not defeat Kerry. Should Monaghan win or draw their last fixture Tyrone will be relegated regardless of their result.
Lidl NFL Division 2 Fixtures
Donegal v Cavan, Tír Conaill Gaels, 2:00pm (J. Niland)
Donegal and Cavan both sit top of the table and both have qualified for the knock out stages along with Cavan and Westmeath. Donegal will finish top of the table unless there is a huge swing in score difference. Donegal are unbeaten in the league and it is generally accepted that when they play at home, they win. A big performance is a must for Cavan, and with Donegal already through as group winners, they might be able to launch an assault on that Donegal home record.
Sligo v Laois, Clonacool Community Park, 2:00pm (G. McMahon)
The bottom of Division 2 sees 4 teams sitting level on 3 points each and all three play each other this weekend. Sligo host Laois with both teams knowing that they must win to assure their survival in Division 2. The Westerners will be favourites for the victory based on being the home side but this Laois team have so much experience and know how that they can’t be underestimated.
Clare v Westmeath, Cooraclare, 2:00pm (S. Mulvihill)
The other half of the promotion race equation meet in what could be a dry run for their semi-final meeting. The progression of Clare under the stewardship of their new manager, Neil Moynihan, has been stunning. They have been brilliant in Division 2 and have put themselves on the verge of a return to Division 1. Westmeath have steadily been improving for a number of years and are a solid senior outfit. The prize for victory here is to avoid Donegal in the semi-final which will be a significant motivating factor for both teams.
Kildare v Meath, St. Conleth’s Park Newbridge, 2:00pm (D. McEnery)
Both teams are deep in relegation trouble. They sit level on 3 points at the bottom of the table alongside Sligo and Laois who also play each other. A win will see the winner stay up, a loss will mean either relegation or a relegation play off depending on the result in the other match. A draw in both matches will see a 4 way tie and a 4 way play-off. Kildare are at home and will be determined not to allow their great rivals leave with any points.
Division 2 Summary
Donegal, Clare, Cavan and Westmeath have all qualified for the semi-finals with the order of finishing dependent on results in round 7. The semi-final will be 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. Kildare, Sligo, Laois and Meath can all possibly be relegated this weekend. The winners of Kildare v Meath and Sligo v Laois will remain in Division 2 for 2017 with the losers of those matches playing each other in a play off on April 17th with the loser being relegated to Division 3 for 2017.
Lidl NFL Division 3 Fixtures
Roscommon v Waterford, Padraig Pearses GAA, 2:00pm (K. Corcoran)
This is a must win for a Roscommon team that have been impressive to date in Division 3. With Wexford only 3 points behind they know that it is possible that they will be caught in the race for the knock-out stages. Undefeated Waterford are the visitors for this match and they have already secured their progression to the semi-finals. This is a good time to be playing Waterford but the hosts will not make anything easy for their visitors.
Leitrim v Tipperary, Sean O’Heslin’s Ballinamore, 2:00pm (Y. Duffy)
Leitrim are not certain of their progression to the semi-finals yet but a win this weekend will mean that they will finish in the top 4. Tipperary have already secured their place in the semi-finals but they will not be taking anything for granted. Leitrim need the points and are at home so they must be the favourites, but Tipperary are a team on the up so they will make nothing easy for their hosts.
Offaly v Wexford, Gracefield, 2:00pm (S. McNulty)
Wexford still hold hope of qualifying for the semi-finals but only if they record a big win and have results elsewhere go their way. The visitors must win but Offaly will want to give nothing away in their last competitive fixture before their Leinster Championship campaign gets underway.
Fermanagh v Down, TBC, 2:00pm (K. McKeever)
These teams sit level at the bottom of the table with no points. This is a relegation play-off match where the winner will stay up, and the loser will be relegated to the bottom division for 2017. Fermanagh will be the hosts in this All-Ulster relegation battle but with Down’s recent improvement it will be a real struggle for the hosts to get the points they need to stay up.