Cork ladies start football league campaign against Tipperary

Cork ladies start football league campaign against Tipperary

Orla Finn, pictured in action against Armagh's Megan Sheridan, will be one of the players Cork will look to as they open their  Lidl National Ladies Football League campaign against Tipperary.

TITLE holders Cork will face Tipperary in their opening game in the opening game of the 2021 Lidl National League Division 1 campaign.

Cork, who won the title in 2019, will then face Dublin in their second game, before rounding off the group stage against Waterford.

They were on target to retain their league title last season before the pandemic saw the league halted.

Cork will have home advantage in their first two games before they round off away to Waterford.

With only a handful of league games this year, five at most if they reach the final, the Rebels can't afford to be taking any of them lightly and know they are in for a tough challenge in all.

They certainly won't forget their league loss to Tipperary, when they lost out to a last-minute goal and revenge will be on their minds ahead of this encounter.

They will need to have the points in the bag before their meeting with the All-Ireland champions in the second round, a game neither side will want to lose.

Cork have had the better of Dublin in the league in recent years, but it has been the opposite in the championship.

Waterford won't be an easy game either, but along with the Tipp clash they will be ones that Cork will be expected to win and it most likely will come down to the tie with Dublin to decide who will top the group.

Group games are currently scheduled for May 23 and 30th and June 6th, with sides having the option to switch to Saturday if it suits them and their opponents.

The other group in Division 1 sees Donegal, Galway, Mayo, and Westmeath set to do battle.

Three rounds of group fixtures will determine the four semi-finalists – with the top team from Division 1A meeting the second-placed team from Division 1B, and vice versa.

The same semi-final principle will apply across the divisions, while the bottom-placed teams in each group, with the exception of Divisions 4A and 4B, will take part in relegation play-offs.

Divisions 1, 2, and 3 will each see one county relegated, with the winners of the finals in Divisions 2, 3, and 4 earning promotion.

In Division 2A, 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate winners Meath face off against Kerry in their opening game, with Clare at home to Wexford.

There’s an all-Ulster Division 2B for the 2021 Lidl National League season, with Monaghan at home to Cavan and Tyrone hosting Armagh in the opening round of games.

In Division 3A, the action gets underway with Down at home to Sligo, while Fermanagh make the trip to Roscommon.

Division 3B is comprised entirely of Leinster teams, with Laois at home to Kildare, and Longford hosting Wicklow in Round 1.

In Division 4A, Leitrim entertain Louth in Round 1, with Derry at home to Antrim in an Ulster derby.

And in Division 4B, a three-team group, Carlow entertain Offaly in an all-Leinster affair in the opening round.

Limerick are afforded a bye in Round 1, before opening their season away to Offaly in Round 2.

The Round 1 fixtures are set for the weekend of Sunday, May 23, and the three rounds of group fixtures will be played on consecutive weekends, with semi-finals and relegation play-offs scheduled for the weekend of June 12/13.

There will then follow a two-week break ahead of the Lidl National League finals – to be played on the weekend of June 26/27.

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