FOOTBALL: Donegal and Meath aim for maiden Lidl NFL Division 1 title as Armagh and Kerry target promotion
CAPTAINS from the four counties set to compete in the Lidl National League Divisions 1 and 1 Finals have gathered at Croke Park ahead of next Sunday’s (April 10) eagerly-anticipated double-header at the famous venue. (Donegal captain Niamh McLaughlin, Meath captain Shauna Ennis, Armagh captain Kelly Mallon and Kerry captain Anna Galvin pictured at Croke Park. #SeriousSupport Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile)
Armagh captain Kelly Mallon, Kerry skipper Anna Galvin, Donegal captain Niamh McLaughlin and her Meath counterpart, Shauna Ennis, were present today (Tuesday, April 5) as the countdown to silverware continues.
At 2pm, Armagh and Kerry will meet in the Division 2 Final, followed by the Division 1 decider between Donegal and Meath.
There’s plenty at stake in both games, with Armagh and Kerry aiming for promotion to the top flight for the 2023 season, as Donegal and Meath aim to land the Division 1 title for the very first time.
Armagh won the Division 2 crown in 2015 and 2005, while Kerry were second tier winners back in 2013.
Kerry, however, have lost the previous two Division 2 deciders, against Meath at Croke Park last year, and Waterford at Parnell Park in 2019 (the 2020 competition was not completed due to Covid-19).
Kerry also finished as Division 2 runners-up in 2001 and 1990.
Next Sunday’s game will mark the first competitive fixture between Armagh and Kerry since the unfinished 2020 Lidl National League, when Kerry won by 2-12 to 2-10 in Division 2.
The Division 1 Final will pit Donegal, runners-up in 2017, against Meath, the 2021 Division 2 champions and current TG4 All-Ireland Senior Champions.
Meath, like Donegal, have contested just one previous Division 1 Final, losing out to Cork back in 2006.
Donegal and Meath have not met in a senior competitive fixture since 2016, when Donegal won a Lidl National League fixture by 3-17 to 3-8 in Division 2.
Looking ahead to the games, Mícheál Naughton, President of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, said: “We’re looking forward to a brilliant double-header at Croke Park next Sunday.
“Promotion is the name of the game for Armagh and Kerry in the Division 2 Final and these two ambitious teams will be anxious to make the step up to Division 1.
“For Donegal and Meath, there’s history in the making as victory for either county would secure a very first Lidl National League Division 1 title.
“We’ve had some brilliant games to date during our 2022 Lidl National Leagues and I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Offaly and Roscommon, our Divisions 4 and 3 winners respectively from last Sunday, while also paying tribute to runners-up Limerick and Wexford.
“We’ve been delighted to bring all of the action in the 2022 Lidl National Leagues to viewers either on TG4 or via our subscription service.
“Back in February, we were delighted to launch our 2022 National Leagues with confirmation of a four-year contract extension that will mark a decade of #SeriousSupport and take our partnership through to the conclusion of the 2025 season.
“The pledge of an additional €5m over the course of the next four years will bring total investment from Lidl to €10m in ten years of sponsorship.”
Speaking on behalf of Lidl Ireland, Chief Executive Officer, JP Scally, added: “We are delighted to see the Lidl National Football League Division 1 and 2 finals back in Croke Park this year.
“As we have returned to some semblance of normality over the past few months, it has been fantastic to see supporters back at games again cheering on their counties.
“There have been some incredible performances over the course of the League campaign and we look forward to a competitive Finals day.
“I’d like to wish all the teams the very best of luck for this Sunday and for the Championship campaign ahead.”
Sunday 10th April 2022
Lidl Ladies NFL Division 2 Final – Result on the Day
Armagh v Kerry; Croke Park, 2pm
Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 Final – Result on the Day
Donegal v Meath; Croke Park, 4pm
For more information, contact Jackie Cahill, LGFA Commercial and Communications Manager: email@example.com