Dublin women set for two Croke Park double headers
League fixtures released: The All-Ireland champions will face Mayo in Castlebar
Dublin’s Rachel Ruddy and Lyndsey Davey celebrate at the final whistle of last year’s All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
TG4 All-Ireland women's senior football champions Dublin will play two of their 2018 Lidl National League Division One fixtures at Croke Park during the forthcoming campaign - while also travelling to Castlebar for an historic showdown with Mayo.
Following on from the huge success of the Dublin-Mayo clash at Croke Park last March, the first time ever that the venue had hosted a women's league tie, the Sky Blues will entertain Lidl Division 1 champions Cork there on Saturday, February 10th, and Kerry on Saturday, March 3rd.
The February 10th date pits the current All-Ireland and League holders against each other in a mouthwatering showdown which will precede the men’s game involving Dublin and Donegal.
On March 3rd, Kerry are the visitors to Drumcondra, ahead of the men’s fixture between the two counties.
Another huge game to look forward to takes place on February 24th, when the Mayo women get the chance to play at Elvery’s MacHale Park, before their male counterparts go into battle.
Mayo will entertain Dublin in a repeat of the 2017 TG4 senior final between the counties, before the men’s teams renew acquaintances in Castlebar.
In a groundbreaking development, the Mayo women will finally have the opportunity to appear on a double bill with the men.
The Ladies Gaelic Football Association has made significant progress in organising ‘double-headers’ alongside men’s National League fixtures.
In total, eight Lidl NFL ties are set to serve as curtain-raisers ahead of matches involving the men’s teams from the host counties.
Five of the eight games are high-profile Lidl NFL Division 1 showdowns, with three matches in Division Two also accommodated.
Monaghan will welcome Kerry in Division 1 on Sunday, February 11th, before the Monaghan men take on Kerry at Páirc Grattan, Inniskeen.
On the same day, TG4 Connacht champions Galway tackle beaten 2017 All-Ireland finalists Mayo at Pearse Stadium in Salthill, before the Galway and Mayo men battle it out.
In Division 2, Armagh, Cavan and Tyrone will get the chance to line out in home fixtures ahead of the men’s teams from the respective counties.
The confirmed list of ‘double-headers’ is as follows (men’s NFL fixture in bold):
1. Sunday January 28th - Lidl NFL Division 2 - Armagh v Tipperary (12.0), Athletic Grounds, Armagh (Armagh v Sligo)
2. Saturday February 3rd - Lidl NFL Division 2 - Cavan v Armagh (5.15), Kingspan Breffni, Cavan (Cavan v Louth)
3. Saturday February 10th - Lidl NFL Division 1 - Dublin v Cork (5.0), Croke Park (Dublin v Donegal)
4. Sunday February 11th - Lidl NFL Division 1 - Monaghan v Kerry (12.0) - Páirc Grattan, Inniskeen (Monaghan v Kerry)
5. Sunday February 11th - Lidl NFL Division 1 - Galway v Mayo (12.0) - Pearse Stadium, Salthill (Galway v Mayo)
6. Saturday February 24th - Lidl NFL Division 1 - Mayo v Dublin (5.0), Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar (Mayo v Dublin)
7. Saturday March 3rd - Lidl NFL Division 1 - Dublin v Kerry (5.0), Croke Park (Dublin v Kerry)
8. Saturday March 3rd - Lidl NFL Division 2 - Tyrone v Cavan (5.15), Healy Park, Omagh (Tyrone v Donegal)