Women’s National Football League: Division Two previews
First weekend up there’s a meeting of two of the promotion favourites
Armagh will be looking to bounce straight back after last year’s relegation. Photo: Tom Beary/Inpho
Armagh v Tipperary – Silverbridge, 12pm (D Love)
Two promotion favourites meet in the first round of the Lidl National League in Division 2, with Armagh hosting Tipperary in Silverbridge. Having suffered relegation last year, Armagh will target an immediate return to the top flight, while Tipp are seeking a second successive promotion. Division 3 winners last year, the Premier County went on to add the TG4 All-Ireland intermediate crown, while going the entire season unbeaten. Tipp look set to line out with the vast majority of that All-Ireland winning side, but Armagh will prove a tough nut to crack on home soil.
Laois v Cavan – Sarsfield (Mountmellick), 2pm (D McEnery)
In what promises to be a hugely competitive second tier, Cavan are another strong promotion contender. The Breffni ladies went close last year but lost out to Westmeath in a divisional final replay, following a couple of cracking games. Laois reached the Division 2 semi-finals last year and with Kevin Doogue remaining in charge to provide continuity, they could improve again. This will be a test for Cavan on their travels but with new manager James Daly settling in, they’ll want to lay down an early marker.
Clare v Sligo – Milltown, 2pm (K O’Brien)
Paddy Henry’s decision to remain at the helm is good news for Sligo, while Clare have a new manager in James Murrihy. These two counties will be competitive in Division 2 and having contested last year’s TG4 All-Ireland intermediate semi-final, Sligo will seek further progress. Clare were defeated by Meath at the quarter-final stage of the same competition and they also contested a Division 2 semi-final last year, losing out to Cavan. A good start is vital for both counties and this is an important game at the very start.
Tyrone v Waterford – Drumragh, 2pm (C Dourneen)
Tyrone were beaten TG4 All-Ireland intermediate finalists last year, while Waterford made a big impression in the senior championship in 2017, beating Cork and Kerry in Munster before knocking out Cavan in the qualifiers. Waterford are capable of making a big impact in Division 2 and will quietly fancy their chances of a promotion push. Tyrone, too, would place themselves in that category and they’ll aim for a strong League campaign before turning their attentions towards going one better in the All-Ireland series.