Cork drawn in same group as Dublin in Lidl Ladies National Football League

Cork drawn in same group as Dublin in Lidl Ladies National Football League

New Cork captain and goalkeeper, Martina O'Brien, sees her side face arch-rivals Dublin in the group stages of the Lidl Ladies National Football League.

TG4 All-Ireland senior finalists Cork and Dublin will face each other in the group stages of the Lidl Ladies National Football League, which is due to get underway on May 23.

They have been drawn in Division One Group B, along with Tipperary and Waterford. Group A consists of Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Westmeath.

Dublin defeated Cork last December to claim a fourth straight All-Ireland senior title, but Cork are the reigning Division 1 League champions, having won the title in 2019.

Last year's league was cancelled, with Cork and Galway the form sides at the time and looked like facing each other in the final, before the decision to call a halt was made due to the pandemic.

In league terms Cork have a far better record than the All-Ireland champions and got the better of them in the semi-final in 2019, after extra-time, in what was probably one of the best games of that season.

They went on to beat Galway in the final to maintain their domination of the league over the last 15 years or so. In that time they have won the league 12 times and looked on course to make it 13 last year before the cancellation.

Games are due to start on Sunday, May 23 and continue then every weekend up until June 13, when the semi-finals will be played. There is then a two-week break to the final on June 27.

The actual fixtures have not been made yet, but with inter-county training returning on April 12, at least all counties have dates to work towards.

The league dates could cause some problems for Cork, depending on what Munster decide to do with their club championships from last year. Mourneabbey, Clonakilty and Valley Rovers are all due to play in the club Munster championships, with June suggested as a possible date for those games.

With at least 10 of Cork's squad involved there is the potential for a clash, so it is now highly likely the club games will either have to be scrapped altogether of alternative dates looked at.

Meanwhile in Division 2A, TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate champions Meath will be joined by Clare, Kerry, and Wexford, while Armagh, Cavan, Monaghan and Tyrone feature in an all-Ulster Division 2B.

There are four counties in each group, with the exception of a three-team Division 4B, which contains Carlow, Offaly and Limerick, while the divisions have been comprised in regional fashion to minimise travelling for the competing teams, and to help ensure the health and safety of all counties.

Confirmation of initial details for the 2021 Lidl National Leagues follow the recent Government announcement that inter-county training can resume from April 19, for ‘sanctioned and organised adult inter-county National Gaelic Games Leagues.’

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