CORK will open the defence of their Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 title with an historic fixture against Westmeath at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday, January 25 (4pm).
For the first time, Cork’s lady footballers will get the opportunity to play a competitive fixture at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and it will also be the first time the venue has hosted a male-female football double-header, with Cork seniors taking on Offaly in Division 3 of the Allianz League (6pm).
Ephie Fitzgerald’s team was due to play two games at the Páirc during the 2019 Lidl National League campaign, but the ground was later made unavailable due to necessary remedial work.
The double-headers did take place at Páirc Uí Rinn, but the time has now come for the Cork ladies to finally display their talents on the county’s biggest stage.
Cork are 12-time Lidl NFL Division 1 champions, they defeated Galway in last year’s final, and will commence their 2020 campaign against Westmeath, before travelling to Tipperary a week later for a dress rehearsal ahead of the TG4 Munster Championship semi-final, scheduled for the weekend of May 30/31.
“Cork County Board is delighted to be able to facilitate this double-header at Páirc Uí Chaoimh,” said board chairperson Tracey Kennedy.
“It’s a very special occasion, as these will be the first inter-county games played on the new pitch surface, and it’s wonderful to have both our men’s and women’s teams involved. I look forward to many more of these double-headers in the future.”
Cork team captain Doireann O’Sullivan said, “first of all, it’s a huge stepping stone for us, and with that bit of history as well.
“We’re really looking forward to it and when you think of the great players who went before us who didn’t have this opportunity, we’re really lucky.
“There’s the added bonus that it’s a double-header and hopefully there will be a good crowd at it.
“It’s a stepping stone for ladies football and for Cork as well. We’re delighted with it.”