LGFA NFL roundup: “Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong” - Cork relegated, Defiant Dubs, Magic Meath

LGFA NFL roundup: “Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong” - Cork relegated, Defiant Dubs, Magic Meath
HerSport Editor
HerSport Editor

Compiled by John Fallon

Armagh manager Greg McGonigle said they are looking forward to their first ever Lidl Division 1 final at Croke Park on April 7 when they will take on reigning champions

Armagh will bid to become only the second Ulster county to win the crown and the first since Monaghan captured it for the fourth time in 2012.

He fielded an understrength side against All-Ireland champions Dublin on Saturday, having already advanced to the final, and while they went down by 7-10 to 1-4, he was pleased with what they learned from it.


“We gave three players their debut. We have our panel, although expected we could have done a wee bit better but obviously Dublin did that to Kerry in the All-Ireland final last year as well. They came out of the blocks and scored quick goals. We are happy enough what we got out of it.”


Dublin manager Mick Bohan, who needed to win to keep their hopes of a final place alive, said they will now focus on the championship as they put their Leinster and All-Ireland titles on the line. “I am happy with the way we finished the league. Obviously it would be great to be in a final, but we are heading in the right direction.”

Kerry booked their place in the final with a 2-11 to 0-12 win over Galway in Killarney. Leading by 1-3 to 0-5 at the break thanks to a goal from Danielle O’Leary, the holders held off an improved Galway side with Hannah O’Donoghue getting their second goal to seal the win, but joint manager Darragh Long said they need to improve.

“The first half was probably our worst thirty minutes of the season so far and we wouldn’t be happy with it at all. We’re delighted to be back in Croke Park again and defending our title and there will be a fantastic buzz in training over the next two weeks. We’re really looking forward to it now,” he said.

Long said Galway’s rebuilding programme is working and their manager Daniel Moynihan said they would do their utmost to avoid the drop when they play Waterford.

“It won’t be the end of the world if we go down to Division 2. It’s been a good few years since we were down there and it won’t be the end all and be all. With the two up and two down you could see a lot of flip flopping with teams over the next few years but we’ll give the Waterford game a right go whenever it’s fixed to play,” said Moynihan.

Waterford boss Pat Sullivan said they played well in their 2-9 to 2-6 loss to Mayo and will now turn their attention to the relegation clash with Galway.

“Overall I thought we played very well. It’s very small margins actually. We had a couple of chances near the end there. We had a great chance of a goal to lob the keeper from a kick out. It’s one kick of the ball and it could be a different story.”
Mayo manager Liam McHale was pleased to get another win before the start of the championship.

“I thought we dominated the game in periods. It was just the last pass let us down, shot selection let us down last week. I think you have to expect that with a young team. We’ll be working hard on that over the next month and a half.”

Meath midfielder Máire O’Shaughnessy was pleased with their 2-14 to 1-7 win over Cork, with Emma Duggan scoring 0-7, five of them from play, while Marion Farrelly and Shelly Melia got the goals.

“We wanted to finish the league with a win and on a high with a good performance,” she said. “We were ready to go out there and put in a performance. We were struggling in the last few weeks to bring 60 minutes performances. There have been glimpses here and there. We wanted to go out and perform for the full 60 minutes. I’m glad now we finished in the league on a bit of a high.”

Cork will play in Division 2 next year for the first time since 2003 after suffering their sixth loss of the campaign and manager Shane Ronayne said they never got the bounce of the ball in this campaign.

“In the last few weeks anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Players being injured and then we had three who lined out for the camogie yesterday. Tired bodies coming up the road again.

“We came out for the second half a point up and we had the penalty to go four up.

Missed that. A couple of minutes and then Meath get a goal. A seven or eight point swing. When you are losing matches your confidence is low. The confidence got sucked out of the team again. We are very disappointed, didn’t play well.”

In Division 2, Kildare and Tyrone were already assured of a final place at Croke Park on April 7 ahead of the final round of group fixtures. Both sides finished with victory with Kildare defeating Westmeath by 2-9 to 1-7 while Tyrone overcame Cavan by 1-10 to 1-5.

Donegal were single point winners against Tipperary with Katy Herron and Niamh McLaughlin finding the net. Monaghan ensured their Division Two status as they were big winners against Laois by 3-18 to 0-6.

At the bottom of the table, it will be Cavan who join Laois in Division 3 next season, a five-point defeat to Tyrone confirming their relegation.

And in Division 3, with Clare and Roscommon also through to a final at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park in Birr on Saturday April 6, all eyes were focused on the battle for survival.

After both were defeated this afternoon, Antrim and Sligo will be playing Division 4 football next year. Roscommon defeated Antrim by 4-6 to 1-14 and with the final to come, ended their round games at the top of the table. However, defeat for Antrim also sees them relegated, just a season after promotion.

Down ended their league on a high as they defeated finalists Clare. Meanwhile, Offaly were big winners over Wexford while Louth also came up with a big performance, defeating Sligo by 2-12 to 2-7, ensuring the Wee County’s safety in Division Three and relegating Sligo.

The 2024 Lidl National League Division 4 Final, at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park, Birr, on Saturday April 6, will be contested by Limerick and Carlow. Limerick got the better of Leitrim by 2-10 to 1-11 in one semi-final, while a late goal from Maeve O’Neill snatched a 2-8 to 1-10 win for Carlow against Fermanagh in the other semi-final to secure a place in the final and promotion.


Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 Round 7

Dublin 7-10 Armagh 1-4
Mayo 2-9 Waterford 2-6
Meath 2-14 Cork 1-7
Kerry 2-11 Galway 0-12

Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 2 Round 7

Donegal 2-8 Tipperary 3-4
Tyrone 1-10 Cavan 1-5
Kildare 2-9 Westmeath 1-7
Monaghan 3-18 Laois 0-6

Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3 Round 7

Down 0-11 Clare 1-5
Louth 2-12 Sligo 2-7
Offaly 3-7 Wexford 0-10
Roscommon 4-6 Antrim 1-14

Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 4 - Semi Finals

Limerick 2-10 Leitrim 1-11
Carlow 2-8 Fermanagh 1-10

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