Previews: All roads lead to Birr for Lidl Ladies FL Div 2 and 3 final replays

12 May 2017

St Brendan's Park, Birr will play host to the Lidl Ladies Football League Division 2 and 3 final replays.
©INPHO/Ken Sutton.

All roads lead to St Brendan's Park, Birr on Sunday as Cavan, Westmeath, Tipperary and Wexford meet again to decide the Lidl Ladies Football League Division 2 and 3 titles.

 

Lidl NFL Division 3 Final Replay – ET if Necessary

Tipperary v Wexford, 2.00pm, St Brendan’s Park, Birr, Offaly (S McNulty)

After a thrilling encounter in Clane these two teams will meet again to decide who will be the 2017 National Football League Division 3 Champions. Wexford led most of the way in the original match but it was Fiona Rochford that had to rescue her side with a last gasp equaliser.

Tipperary will go into this match knowing that they did not perform as well as they would have expected for three quarters of the match as they struggled to get to grips with the Wexford challenge. Aishling Moloney showed her quality throughout but she will need more support from her fellow attackers. Manager, Shane Ronayne, will be hoping that the disciplinary issues that saw them twice reduced to 14 players will be absent in Birr. Ronayne has shown his faith in the team that started that drawn game as he has selected the same starting XV.

Wexford will be happy with their performance for the majority of the drawn match but Anthony Masterson will be worried by how Tipperary were able to get back into the game and force a late equaliser from Rochford. The same starting team will take the field for Wexford with Aisling Murphy likely to be the subject of close marking following her excellent display in Clane.

Tipperary will feel that they have plenty of room for improvement on their display in the drawn match but Wexford have shown that there is plenty of quality in their ranks. The team that starts the quickest in this encounter will likely go on to get the victory so expect both teams to attack from the first whistle.

 

Lidl NFL Division 2 Final Replay – ET if Necessary

Cavan v Westmeath, 4.00pm, St Brendan’s Park, Birr, Offaly (B Rice)

Cavan and Westmeath produced an enthralling final in Parnell Park last weekend as the two teams went toe to toe in a pulsating encounter.

Westmeath will be relieved to have forced this match to a replay after failing to hit the heights that they would have hoped for prior to the match. Indeed, if it weren’t for two good Ciara Blundell goals it could have been a comprehensive defeat for Stephen Maxwell’s side. Laura Lee Walsh is their talisman and she is likely to play a bigger part in this match after she was well marshalled in the drawn game. Karen McDermott and Maud Annie Foley will again need to produce big performances in the middle of the field and limit the influence of Donna English on the other side.

Cavan were left visibly deflated at the final whistle of the drawn match after letting a good lead slip against Westmeath. They controlled much of the play but failed to make their dominance count on the scoreboard. Aisling Doonan was influential throughout and her frees were vital but Cavan will feel that they need to convert more of the chances that fall the way of their forwards. The strong running of Sheila Reilly, Mona Sheridan, Rachael Doonan and the excellent Sinead Greene were a great feature of the drawn match and should they, along with Donna English, reprise their performances it will be a great help to their quest for promotion.

Much will hinge on how Cavan will have recovered from letting their lead slip towards the end of the first encounter, if they can shake off that disappointment they will enter this match with high hopes. Westmeath will feel that they have a lot of room for improvement after a disappointing first match. Although there are plenty of quality players on either side it is likely that this match will come down to which of the marquee forwards performs best; Aisling Doonan for Cavan or Laura Lee Walsh for Westmeath.




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