Ladies football: Cork take on champions Meath in league opener

New Rebel manager Shane Ronayne's  second game will be against great rivals Dublin
Ladies football: Cork take on champions Meath in league opener

Meath's Aoibhin Cleary and Libby Coppinger of Cork in action in last year's All-Ireland semi-final which went to extra time. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

CORK face Meath and then Dublin in their first two games of the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1B  section in February.

Waterford are the fourth team in the group, with the top two teams into the semi-finals on March 19; Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Westmeath are in Division 1A.

Holders Dublin will begin the defence of their crown with a trip to Waterford on the opening weekend of the 2022 campaign.

Division 1B of the competition also contains TG4 All-Ireland Senior champions Meath and Cork, the 12-time Division 1 winners who lost out to Dublin in the 2021 top-flight decider at Croke Park.

Cork and Meath will meet on the opening weekend, on February 13, in what will be the first competitive meeting between the counties since the dramatic All-Ireland semi-final back in August, when Meath staged a sensational comeback to take the game to extra-time, before eventually prevailing.

Dublin will take on Cork in Round 2 before All-Ireland finalists Dublin and Meath renew acquaintances in Round 3.

Meath will operate in the top tier next year after they won the Division 2 title in 2021, to gain promotion.

Division 2A contains three Munster teams, namely Clare, Kerry, and Tipperary, who were relegated from the top flight this year.

They’ll be joined by Division 3 champions Laois, while Division 2B is an all-Ulster affair as Armagh, Cavan, Monaghan, and Tyrone prepare for some intriguing games.

Division 3A contains newly promoted Louth, who will play against Down, Roscommon, and Sligo, while Wexford (relegated from Division 2 in 2021), Kildare, Wicklow, and Longford make up an all-Leinster Division 3B.

In Division 4A, Ulster sides Antrim, Derry, and Fermanagh will be joined by Leitrim, as Fermanagh prepare for life in the fourth tier again following relegation in 2021.

In Division 4B, London are preparing for a return to League football, and they’ll pit their wits against Carlow, Offaly, and Limerick.

The Division 2 semi-finals will be played on March 19, with the semi-finals in Divisions 3 and 4 down for decision on March 20.

The finals in Divisions 3 and 4 are scheduled for Sunday, April 3, with the Division 1 and 2 finals to be played a week later, on Sunday, April 10.

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