Ladies’ National Football League Division 1 weekend previews

Dublin take on last year’s league champions Meath on opening weekend of action

2pm throw-ins unless stated


Lidl NFL Division 1

Galway v Donegal, Tuam Stadium


It was as case of so near and yet so far for Donegal in 2022. The Ulster outfit lost the provincial final to Armagh, were pipped by champions Meath in the Division 1 decider, and lost out to the Royals again in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final.

But there’s a feeling in the Donegal ranks that they’re right up there in the mix and there have been no high-profile departures and a desire to go again.

Donegal’s League campaign begins against Galway in Tuam on Saturday, with the hosts minus a host of their Kilkerrin-Clonberne All-Ireland senior club winners.

Lynsey Noone does start at corner forward, with Chloe Miskell on the bench, but more KC players will ease their way back into the county set-up over the coming weeks.

An interesting tie lies in store between two counties who will look to have a big say in the race for silverware in 2023.

GALWAY (v Donegal): A Griffin; B Quinn, S Ní Loinsigh (capt), E Gavin; C Cooney, K Geraghty, S Brennan; A Davoren, C Cleary; L Coen, K Slevin, A Molloy; A O’Rourke, R Leonard, L Noone.

DONEGAL: A McColgan; N Carr, E McGinley, E Gallagher (capt); A Boyle Carr, Nicole McLaughlin, T Hegarty; S Twohig, R Rodgers; S Boyle, K Long, L Ryan; K Gillespie, S McGroddy, C McGarvey.

Dublin v Meath, DCU St Clare’s, 5.15pm – Live on TG4

Quite the rivalry has developed between Dublin and Meath in recent times. A bumper crowd was present at Páirc Tailteann for a 2022 league fixture, won by a late Hannah Tyrrell free, and the sides met twice in the Leinster championship – sharing a win each, with Dublin claiming the provincial crown.

Meath claimed both of the big national prizes on offer last year, however, landing the Division 1 and All-Ireland senior titles, with the Sky Blues looking on enviously.

The first meeting between the counties in 2023 will receive the live TV treatment at DCU St Clare’s – and both counties will be anxious to get off to a winning start.

There’s plenty of experience in both teams but a number of first-teamers are unavailable too.

Carla Rowe will captain Dublin in 2023 and was in super form last year, despite Dublin’s exit at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage.

For Meath, this is a first competitive game in charge for new manager Davy Nelson.

DUBLIN (v Meath): E Ní Eafa; N Crowley, R Brennan, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, M Byrne; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; O Nolan, C Rowe (capt), E Gribben; C O’Connor, H Tyrrell, J Egan.

MEATH: M McGuirk; S Ennis (capt), MK Lynch, K Newe; N Gallogly, A Cleary, M O’Shaughnessy; A Minogue, A McCabe; A Sheridan, A Farrell, A Leahy; M Thynne, M Byrne, C Smyth.


Lidl NFL Division 1

Mayo v Cork, Connacht Centre of Excellence, 1.30pm

Mayo and Cork last met in a competitive fixture in the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland SFC quarter-final – a tie won by Mayo in scintillating fashion.

Mayo lost out to Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final and Sunday’s opponents will be itching to get going in 2023.

Cork have lost brilliant forward Orla Finn to intercounty retirement but there’s still plenty of talent and experience available to manager Shane Ronayne.

Mayo boss Michael Moyles welcomes Sarah Tierney and Rachel Kearns back into his set-up, and they’re joined by returning Clodagh McManamon and Deirdre Doherty to bolster the green and red ranks.

Mayo and Cork are two counties who will expect to compete for the top honours in 2023 – and this looks like being another wide-open season.

MAYO (v Cork): L Brennan; É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; C Needham, F McHale, K Sullivan (capt); C McManamon, H Reape; E Reape, S Cafferky, S Howley; L Cafferky, T Needham, R Kearns.

CORK: M O’Sullivan; S Kelly, E Meaney, D Kiniry; A Healy, H Looney, M Duggan; S Leahy, E O’Shea; E Cleary (capt), R Leahy, D Kiely; L Coppinger, E Kiely, A Ring.

Waterford v Kerry, Piltown

Kerry’s sensational 2022 season has them harbouring hopes of more glory this year.

The Kingdom beat Armagh to capture the Division 2 crown and book a safe return to the top flight, following relegation back in 2018.

An All-Ireland senior final appearance ended in disappointment against Meath but huge progress was made and joint managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long will be confident of building further.

In a competitive Division 1, Kerry will look to consolidate first and foremost but a crack at the top prize is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Opponents Waterford needed a relegation playoff to survive last year and they’ll look to stay up again as the priority target.

Kerry have listed seven players who started the All-Ireland Final as they seek a winning return to Division 1.

WATERFORD (v Kerry): E O’Brien; K McGrath, M Dunford, A Murray, E Power, E Murray, H Power; K Hogan, A Waring; A O’Neill, B McMaugh, C McCarthy; A Fitzgerald, L McGregor, S McGuckian.

KERRY: ME Bolger; E Lynch, K Cronin, A Dillane; N Broderick, A O’Connell, L Galvin; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; N Carmody, S O’Shea (capt), C Evans, N Ní Chonchúir, D O’Leary, H O’Donoghue.

Sunday’s other fixtures

Division 2

Cavan v Armagh, Drumlane, Milltown

Laois v Monaghan, MW Hire O’Moore Park

Tipperary v Westmeath, Fethard Town Park 3G

Tyrone v Roscommon; O’Neills Healy Park

Division 3

Kildare v Down, St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge

Louth v Longford, Darver

Sligo v Clare, Curry

Wexford v Offaly, St Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy

Division 4 – Group B

Leitrim v Derry, Aughawillian

Kilkenny v Limerick, MW Hire Kilkenny GAA Training Centre