Compiled by Jackie Cahill
The Bank Holiday weekend brings with it the prospect of 14 fixtures in the group stages of the 2023 Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues.
Another pivotal weekend lies in store as Galway and Kerry look to maintain the only 100 per cent records in Division 1.
To mark the St Brigid’s Bank Holiday Monday, TG4 will televise two top-flight games, with champions Meath welcoming Galway to Navan for a 1.15pm start, followed by the meeting of Cork and Dublin at Páirc Uí Rinn (3pm).
Kerry entertain Donegal at 12pm on Saturday in Tralee, while Waterford are the hosts on Sunday as Mayo make the trip to Dungarvan for a 2pm start.
All fixtures in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 are scheduled for Sunday, and all games bar the live TG4 matches are available to view via the LGFA’s live-streaming portal: https://bit.ly/3k9k8CB
*All games 2pm unless stated
Saturday, February 4th
Lidl NFL Division 1
Kerry v Donegal; Austin Stack Park, Tralee, 12pm
Kerry have made a seamless return to Division 1, with two wins from two seeing them on top of the pile alongside Galway.
The Kingdom welcome pointless Donegal to Tralee for a 12pm start on Saturday – and this is a crucial game at both ends of the table.
Kerry’s primary aim is to consolidate in Division 1 and another win would almost certainly guarantee top flight football again next year.
Donegal’s plight right now is more perilous, with last year’s beaten Division 1 finalists finding themselves in early relegation trouble following two defeats.
Kerry (v Donegal): M.E. Bolger; C O’Brien, K Cronin, A Dillane; C McCarthy, E Costello, A O’Connell; M O’Connell, C Lynch; P Diggin, N Carmody, A Galvin; S O’Shea (capt.), R Dwyer, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
Donegal (v Kerry): A McColgan; N Carr, E McGinley, S Boyle; A Boyle Carr, E Gallagher (capt.), T Hegarty; S Twohig, R Rodgers; J McFadden, K Long, L Ryan; C Gillespie, S McGroddy, C McGarvey.
Sunday, February 5th
Lidl NFL Division 1
Waterford v Mayo; Dungarvan GAA
Waterford recovered from an opening day loss against Kerry to draw with Cork last weekend.
It’s a game the Déise could have won, too, and manager Pat Sullivan will be anxious to build on that result against a Mayo side looking to get off the mark.
Mayo and Donegal are the only two sides in Division 1 without a point to date and the green and red will be eager to rectify that against Waterford, having shown flashes of good form against Kerry last weekend, albeit in defeat.
Another win for Waterford would go a long way towards preserving their Division 1 status in what’s a fiercely-contested Division following the return of the eight-team group.
Waterford (v Mayo): 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.
Mayo (v Waterford): L Brennan, É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; L Wallace, S Tierney, K Sullivan (capt.); C McManamon, S Cafferky; H Reape, S Howley, M Cannon; L Cafferky, R Kearns, T Needham.
Lidl NFL Division 2
Armagh v Monaghan; Middletown, 1pm
Armagh were beaten Finalists last year and were one of the pre-season favourites for promotion.
Thus far, the Orchard County have done all they can to justify that status, with two wins from two outings.
In this Ulster derby, Monaghan make the trip to Middletown in good spirits following their victory over Tyrone last time out.
Cavan v Westmeath; Knockbride
Cavan need points and fast after falling to two successive defeats at the start of the season.
They’re at home to a Westmeath side that got their campaign up and running with an impressive victory over Laois last weekend.
The Lake County scored seven goals against the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate champions and will look to carry that form with them to Knockbride.
Laois v Tyrone; Crettyard
Laois got their Division 2 campaign off to a winning start but were brought back down to earth by goal-hungry Westmeath last weekend.
Their opponents Tyrone also have one win from two outings and victory for either side here would keep alive hopes of a top-two finish.
Tyrone lost to Monaghan last weekend and are on the road again as two sides that met in the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate championship renew acquaintances.
Tipperary v Roscommon; Fethard Town Park
Tipperary are the only other side along with Armagh to record maximum points to date in Division 2.
The Premier County have the chance to make it three from three as they welcome pointless Roscommon to Fethard Town Park.
The visitors need to get some points on the board soon as they languish at the bottom of the table alongside Cavan.
Lidl NFL Division 3
Longford v Offaly; Emmet Park, Killoe
This is a crucial game for two teams yet to record a point in Division 3.
Longford fell to a heavy loss against Kildare last time out, as last year’s Division 4 champions Offaly were well beaten by Louth.
Clare v Kildare; Cooraclare
Kildare are one of three teams with six points from six.
The Lilywhites make the trip South to Coorclare on Sunday to take on a Clare side smarting from defeat to Wexford last weekend.
Louth v Sligo; Darver
Louth have six points from six, with Sligo yet to register a point in Division 3.
The Wee County will be expected to continue their winning streak as the race for coveted top two slots intensifies.
Wexford v Down; St Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy, 1pm
Wexford were beaten Finalists last year but appear hellbent on getting back to another decider.
The Model County have two wins from two but won’t get anything easy from Down, who accounted for Sligo last time out.
Lidl NFL Division 4A
Antrim v Fermanagh; Davitt Park
Division 4A gets underway on Sunday and this fixture will revive memories of the 2022 TG4 All-Ireland Junior Final and subsequent replay, won by Antrim.
Two semi-final slots are on offer in this four-team group – and both sides will fancy their chances of making the knockout phase.
Carlow v London; Netwatch Cullen Park, 1pm
Carlow will be hoping for better League fortunes this year.
They failed to register a point in the 2022 campaign and welcome London to Netwatch Cullen Park for a lunchtime start.
Monday, February 6th
Meath v Galway; Páirc Tailteann, 1.15pm - Live on TG4
After losing to Dublin in Round 1, champions Meath registered their first victory of the new campaign against Donegal last weekend.
Without some big-hitters, the Royal County showed plenty of character and resolve to get the better of opponents they’d also beaten in last year’s Division 1 showpiece.
The stakes are high on Monday in front of the TG4 cameras, as Meath aim to get firmly back in the promotion race against high-flying Galway.
There’s a feeling out West of gathering momentum and a third successive win for the Tribeswomen would have them firmly on track for a Final slot.
Meath (v Galway): M McGuirk; A Sheridan, M.K. Lynch, K Newe; N Gallogly, S Ennis (capt.), A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, A Minogue; M Thynne, M Byrne, C Smyth; O Callan, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan.
Galway (v Meath): A Griffin; B Quinn, S Ní Loingsigh (capt.), E Gavin; C Cooney, K Geraghty, S Brennan; A Davoren, C Cleary; L Coen, K Slevin, A Molloy; A O’Rourke, C Miskell, L Noone.
Cork v Dublin; Páirc Uí Rinn, 3pm - Live on TG4
Having beaten champions Meath in Round 1, Dublin found Galway too hot to handle in Tuam last weekend.
Dublin were overwhelmed in the second half and now face another tricky road trip in Round 3.
The hosts are Cork, motoring nicely with four points from a possible six, although they had to dig deep to secure a draw against Waterford last weekend.
Two counties who expect to challenge for silverware this year should serve up an entertaining fixture in front of the TV cameras.
Cork (v Dublin): M O’Sullivan; S Kelly, S Leahy, D Kiniry; A Healy, H Looney, M Duggan; M O’Callaghan (capt.), E O’Shea; E Cleary, L Coppinger, D Kiely; K Quirke, E Kiely, R Leahy.
Dublin (v Cork): A Shiels; R Brennan, M Byrne, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, E Deeley; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; O Nolan, C Rowe (capt.), E Gribben; C O’Connor, H Tyrrell, K Sullivan.Tweet