Cork v Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh: Ladies footballers look to end Kingdom's unbeaten run 

St Patrick's Day showdown is sure to be another great game between the rivals
Cork v Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh: Ladies footballers look to end Kingdom's unbeaten run 

Erika O'Shea in action for University of Limerick during the 2023 Yoplait Ladies HEC O’Connor Cup semi-final. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

IT'S a game that neither side will want to lose as Cork host Kerry in the Lidl Ladies NFL at Páirc Ui Chaoimh today at 4pm.

The near-neighbours and arch-rivals simply don't like losing to each other, but for the first time in a number of years, the Kingdom will be favourites to take the Points.

Based on form, they are the team to beat and already are safely into the league final, with two games to spare.

They are the only undefeated side in the league and have kept their impressive finish to last season going this year.

They reached the All-Ireland decider, where they lost out to Meath but their confidence will have been boosted even further after their win over the champions in the last round of the league.

The Kingdom are on 15 points and most likely will face Galway in the league final. 

But Cork will be looking to inflict their first defeat of the season on them as they bid to finish their campaign strongly and also lay down a marker for the Munster Championship.


Cork have had the upper hand on the Kingdom now for some time, but games don't tend to be easy too often and manager Shane Ronayne will be well aware of that.

As always at this time of year the good news of one player returning is offset by another picking up an injury.

Doireann O'Sullivan makes a welcome return to the squad for today's game and will be one of the players Cork will look to in the weeks ahead as they bid to win the Munster and All-Ireland titles.

On the other side, Aoife Healy is out with a knock and Laura Fitzgerald is also not ready for consideration yet as she continues her return from injury.

Healy has impressed for both the footballers and camogie side this season and on present form would be expected to start for both.

Others who have impressed for the Rebels so far include other dual stars like Libby Coppinger, Hannah Looney and Orlaith Cahalane.

Add in Erika O'Shea, Roisin Phelan, Eimear Meaney and the Leahy sisters – Rachel and Sarah – to name a few and Cork are building a serious squad ahead of the upcoming championships.

They were very unlucky to lose to both Dublin and Galway and certainly won't fear taking on the Kingdom.

It's a game they won't need any motivation for as Ronayne's side will be well aware the Kingdom would like nothing better than beating Cork in their own backyard.

To their credit, Kerry have been playing some outstanding football and were deserving 12-point winners over Meath in their last outing.

Star of their side is Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh, but they are far from a one-player team. Niamh Carmody is another that has been impressing in their attack, rowing in with 1-4 against Meath.

Siofra O'Shea and Patrice Diggin are others that will need watching by the Cork defence as Kerry now have plenty of options both in attack and defence and probably have their strongest squad in some time.

Even though there is nothing really at stake this has the potential of being a cracker as players and management on both sides won't want to lose this one.

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