Ladies previews: Plenty of key fixtures down for decision

March 16, 2018

Wexford ladies manager Anthony Masterson.
©INPHO/Donall Farmer.

THE 2018 TG4 Ladies Football All Star tour to Bangkok is in full swing but there are pivotal fixtures in Divisions 3 and 4 of the Lidl National Leagues down decision over the weekend.

Wexford, who were Division 3 runners-up last year, lead the way in the third tier with a 100 per cent record.

2017 runners-up Wicklow are top of the pile in Division 4 and as the race for top-four placings hots up, another crucial weekend lies in store.

Here are your previews of the seven games in the offing between now and Monday.

Lidl Ladies National Football League 2018 - Round 5

Thursday 15th March

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 4 - Round 5

Antrim (H) v Derry, 8.00pm, Ardoyne (3G), Cliftonville Road, Belfast (K Bogle, Tyrone)

Considering that Derry contested a TG4 All-Ireland junior final last year, the fact that they're pointless to date in Division 4 must be a concern to the Oak Leafers.

Ulster rivals Derry make the trip to Cliftonville Road on Thursday evening looking for the points that will keep them in touch with the top-four placings.

A big win for Antrim would be a boost to the Saffrons, who have a -2 scoring difference at the start of play, inferior to the four teams ahead of them in the standings.

Friday 16th March

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 3 - Round 5        

Longford (H) v Roscommon, 8.00pm, Keenagh, (C Dourneen, Cavan)

Longford have yet to record a point in Division 3 and are rock-bottom of the standings on scoring difference after taking some heavy defeats.

Friday's opponents Roscommon are on six points to date in a division that has been skewed somewhat due to a number of Leitrim concessions.

The Rossies have earned victories against Offaly and Meath to date, but have lost to Down and Wexford.  

Sunday 18th March

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 3 - Round 5        

Offaly (H) v Wexford, Cappincur, 2.00pm, (J Mullins, Limerick)

This Leinster derby hands Wexford the chance to consolidate their position at the head of affairs.

Three of their points to date were gained following a Leitrim concession but they've also picked up maximum returns from clashes with Longford, Roscommon and Kildare.

Offaly could do with points themselves to ease relegation fears as they've won just one of their four outings to date, against Leitrim.

They were unlucky last time out, however, as the Faithful County lost to Down by just a point.

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 4 - Round 5        

Carlow (H) v Wicklow, 2.00pm, Fenagh Training Centre, Carlow, (K Phelan, Laois)

Wicklow will look to continue the good form that earned manager Mick O'Rourke the Lidl/Irish Daily Star manager of the month award for February.

Last year's beaten divisional finalists are aiming to go one better and they're sitting pretty on top of the pile with maximum points.

A Kilkenny concession gave them three of those but the Garden County have also looked good in their victories over Derry, Limerick and Antrim.

Carlow have four points on the board and they've been competitive in each of their previous four games.

Fermanagh (H) v Kilkenny, St Patrick's, Donagh, 2.00pm, (S. McLaughlin, Donegal) 

Fermanagh enjoyed TG4 All-Ireland intermediate glory last year and are well-placed to reach the Division 4 semi-finals.

Since losing to Antrim on the opening day, they've reeled off three straight wins against Derry, Louth and Carlow to sit on nine points, level with Louth and three behind pace-setters Wicklow.

Basement team Kilkenny don't lack for effort but they've found the going tough in the bottom tier, conceding to Wicklow along the way and failing to score against Limerick last time out.

Monday 19th March 2018

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 3 - Round 5

Meath (H) v Kildare, Dunganny, 4.00pm (J Gallagher, Dublin)

This should be a really interesting game in Dunganny between Leinster teams Meath and Kildare.

Both teams are locked together on nine points, with Meath in second place on scoring difference.

The only blot on Meath's copybook to date was defeat to Roscommon last time out but they've been free-scoring in their other three games, registering a combined 18-56 in victories over Down, Leitrim and Longford.  

Meath hit Leitrim and Longford for seven goals in each of those games but Kildare were impressive in their last outing, scoring 5-16 in the win against Longford.

Lidl Ladies NFL Division 4 - Round 5

Louth (H) v Limerick, 2.00pm, Glen Emmets Tullyallen, (D Carolan, Down)

Since losing their opening League fixture to Fermanagh, Louth have been motoring very nicely.

Wins against Derry, Kilkenny and Carlow have sent the Wee County into second place in the table, ahead of Fermanagh on scoring difference.

Limerick are also moving steadily and are unbeaten themselves since falling to pace-setters Wicklow in their opening fixture.

In a group where six teams harbour genuine hopes of finishing in the top four placings, this is a pivotal fixture.



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