Lidl Ladies National Football League Division One
Monaghan v Dublin, Sunday, 1,30, Clones
Monaghan’s ladies’ footballers welcome All-Ireland champions Dublin to Clones on Sunday.
Having lost their opening two games against Galway and Cork, Monaghan got off the mark with a hard-earned win over Kerry. They then lost out in a repeat of last year’s Ulster final against Donegal prior to the weather-extended break, before resuming with a vital win over Westmeath at St. Tiarnach’s Park last Sunday. Dublin started their campaign with four straight wins at the expense of Donegal, Westmeath, Cork and Mayo, before seeing their unbeaten run ended by Galway.
The hosts, who have named an unchanged team, will need big performances from experienced players such as the McAnespies and the Courtneys if they are to turn over a side containing five of Dublin’s six current All-Stars: namely Ciara Trant, Leah Caffrey, Nicole Owens, Sinéad Aherne and Noelle Healy.
Monaghan: Edel Corrigan; Rachel McKenna, Hazel Kingham, Josie Fitzpatrick; Aoife McAnespie, Sharon Courtney, Shauna Coyle; Hannah McSkeane, Muireann Atkinson; Eimear McAnespie, Katie Duffy, Rosemary Courtney; Eva Woods, Cora Courtney, Ciara McAnespie.
Dublin: Ciara Trant; Martha Byrne, Niamh Collins, Laura McGinley; Leah Caffrey, Katie Murray, Sinéad Goldrick; Lauren Magee, Olwen Carey; Nicole Owens, Niamh McEvoy, Hannah O’Neill; Sinéad Aherne, Lyndsey Davey, Noelle Healy.
The club scene takes centre stage this Saturday, with the restructured leagues starting up, featuring the new ‘five-point’ games in Senior and Intermediate. Each team will play four times with their county players before the end of April, with the remaining five (A) games to be played at the end of the leagues after the nine (B) rounds, minus county players, are completed. Five points are on offer for a win in (A) games, with two points for a draw.
The County Monaghan Credit Unions Senior Football League first round includes a clash between holders Ballybay and county champions Scotstown in a repeat of last year’s final. Promoted teams Carrickmacross and Inniskeen face off, while Clontibret host Truagh, Latton travel to Monaghan Harps and Magheracloone take on Castleblayney.
The Monaghan Electrical Intermediate Football League features a local derby between Blackhill and Toome, while promoted teams Currin and Seán McDermotts are at home to Aughnamullen and Killanny, respectively. 2016 IFC winners Donaghmoyne are away to Tyholland, with their predecessors Doohamlet hosting Corduff.
The Eurotech Junior Football League has two new entrants this year: Truagh and Corduff, who start off away to Rockcorry and Killeevan, respectively. The teams relegated from Intermediate last year, Emyvale and Cremartin, host Aghabog and Oram, while Scotstown visit Clones and Éire Óg face Drumhowan.
The Silver Hill Farm Senior Hurling League gets underway on Thursday evening. Holders Castleblayney face Inniskeen in a repeat of the 2017 finals, while Clontibret host Craobh Rua, Camlough and the new amalgamation St. Macartan’s – Truagh/Monaghan Harps – take on Carrickmacross.
Round three in the Minor Football Leagues takes place on Tuesday.
The Division One Group A fixtures are Magheracloone v Carrickmacross; and Inniskeen v Latton, while Group B sees Aughnamullen and Scotstown host St. Patrick’s and Monaghan Harps, respectively.
In Division Two Group A, there are games between Éire Óg and Cremartin and Doohamlet and Clontibret, with the Group B schedule bringing Emyvale to Killanny and Truagh the shorter trip to Tyholland.
The new Gerry’s Prepared Veg. U-11 Football Leagues get underway on Saturday, with U-15 action during the week.