Ladies footballers get a boost with return of Stack and Walsh to starting team

Ladies footballers get a boost with return of Stack and Walsh to starting team
Annie Walsh of Cork in action against Niamh Collins of Dublin. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Mary White

Ladies Football

ELEVEN-TIME All-Ireland winner Brid Stack has been named in the Cork side to face Dublin in Saturday's Lidl Division 1 NFL semi-final in Nolan Park (3.30pm).

The clash will be Stack's first competitive start since winning her 11th senior All-Ireland medal last September, and tomorrow's fixture will be a repeat of that showdown, when Dublin look to deny Cork a shot at reaching their 10th successive league final.

Stack, who was named the 2016 Players' Player of the Year, has been given the nod by head coach Ephie Fitzgerald to start at centre-back in place of Roisin O'Sullivan.

Her return however isn't the only boost, as wing-forward Annie Walsh of Inch Rovers also makes her first competitive start, with Midleton's Orlagh Farmer making way in the forward line.

Donoughmore's Aisling Barrett has also returned to the squad in recent weeks, ensuring that competition for places is hotting up just in time for championship.

Saturday's meeting in Nolan Park in Kilkenny (3.30pm) is the first of two semi-finals down for the weekend, with Donegal and Galway in action in Markievicz Park tomorrow at 2pm.

Cork were due to play Dublin on Sunday, however the game was rescheduled to cater for the dual players who will be in action in the camogie league final against Kilkenny (Gaelic Grounds, 1.30pm).

The second football semi-final will also be a mouth-watering affair as the 2016 Division 2 winners, Donegal - who finished top of the Division 1 table this season with an impressive campaign - take on Galway Michael Naughton's side have been the in-form team so far, with their lethal attacking duo of Yvonne McMonagle and Gerladine McLaughlin lighting up the campaign. Their win over Mayo (4-13 to 2-11) two weeks ago saw them finish top of the table, surpassing Cork on points difference.

CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, E Spillane; M Duggan, B Stack, S Kelly; N Cotter, J O’Shea; L Coppinger, B O’Sullivan, A Walsh; E Scally, C O’Sullivan, O Finn.

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