The Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 continues this weekend with two crucial games as Armagh v Monaghan and Donegal v Mayo clash on Sunday.
Sunday, April 9th
Lidl NFL Division 1 - Relegation Play off (Result on the day)
Armagh v Monaghan, 2.30pm, Athletic Grounds, Armagh, (M Farrelly)
Armagh and Monaghan will meet at the Gaelic Ground in a match that is of vital importance for both teams as the loser of this fixture will be relegated to Division 2 for 2017. This is the second time in the space of a week that these sides will meet following their Round 7 clash in Clones last Sunday. Monaghan emerged victorious from that fixture with a win that forced this play off as the two sides ended up level on 6 points. However, Monaghan will have breated a sigh of relief as lady luck was clearly on their side as there was an element of good fortune in some of their scores. Monaghan have been boosted by the return of their All Star duo of goalkeeper, Linda Martin, and ace free taker Cathriona McConnell.
Armagh will be disappointed that they didn't secure their Division 1 position last week but that disappointment will be balanced by the knowledge that they produced a good performance that could easily have seen them emerge victorious. Caroline O'Hanlon, in particular, shone in that fixture and should she find that form again this weekend it could point the way towards a victory for Armagh in front of their home crowd. Aimee Mackin, as always, will be viewed as the main threat to Monaghan but this Armagh team are loaded with talent and will be more than determined to find a victory against their Ulster rivals.
Lidl NFL Division 1 Round 5
Donegal v Mayo, 2.00pm, Convoy (B. Rice)
This fixture was postponed from Round 5 due to a bereavement from Donegal but more than just the two sides playing are anxiously awaiting the result of this match. Should Mayo win they will move to 12 points, level with Donegal, Galway and Dublin with only 3 spaces available to join the already qualified Cork in the semi final. However, with the rules of the competition calling for the removal of the points scored in the match versus the bottom team (Armagh on head to head v Monaghan) it means that Mayo will need to beat Donegal by 12 points to take their opponents place in the semi finals.
Mayo are well used to upsetting the odds and with Cora Staunton in their ranks they will feel that a big winning margin is a possibility but it is a huge ask. Donegal will also be keen to continue their impressive home form as a victory would mean that, not only would they qualify for the semi final, they would also leap frog Cork and qualify as the top team.
Mayo will be forced onto the front foot throughout this match which should make for a fantastic contest to bring the league stages of the competition to a close.