FOOTBALL: Holders Cork to face Munster rivals Tipperary in opening round of 2021 Lidl National League 

FOOTBALL: Holders Cork to face Munster rivals Tipperary in opening round of 2021 Lidl National League 

HOLDERS Cork will commence their 2021 Lidl National League Division 1 campaign with a home fixture against Munster rivals Tipperary.  

The Rebelettes, who won the top-flight crown in 2019, are also pitted with TG4 All-Ireland Senior Champions Dublin in Division 1B – with the counties set to meet in Round 2 of the League in an eagerly-anticipated clash.  

Another Munster outfit, Waterford, are the fourth team in Division 1B, with Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Westmeath set to do battle in Division 1A.  

Three rounds of group fixtures will determine the four semi-finalists – with the top team from Division 1A meeting the second-placed team from Division 1B, and vice versa.  

The same semi-final principle will apply across the divisions, while the bottom placed teams in each group, with the exception of Divisions 4A and 4B, will take part in relegation play-offs.   

Divisions 1, 2 and 3 will each see one county relegated, with the winners of the Finals in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 earning promotion.  

Dublin, the four-in-a-row TG4 All-Ireland Senior winners, will commence their 2021 Lidl NFL campaign with a home fixture against Waterford, who they defeated in the 2020 Championship.  

In Division 1A, there’s a Connacht derby between Mayo and Galway to get the action underway, with Donegal at home to Westmeath.  

In Division 2A, 2020 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate winners Meath face off against Kerry in their opening game, with Clare at home to Wexford.  

There’s an all-Ulster Division 2B for the 2021 Lidl National League season, with Monaghan at home to Cavan and Tyrone hosting Armagh in the opening round of games.  

In Division 3A, the action gets underway with Down at home to Sligo, while Fermanagh make the trip to Roscommon.  

Division 3B is comprised entirely of Leinster teams, with Laois at home to Kildare, and Longford hosting Wicklow in Round 1.  

In Division 4A, Leitrim entertain Louth in Round 1, with Derry at home to Antrim in an Ulster derby.  

And in Division 4B, a three-team group, Carlow entertain Offaly in an all-Leinster affair in the opening round.  

Limerick are afforded a bye in Round 1, before opening their season away to Offaly in Round 2.  

The Round 1 fixtures are set for the weekend of Sunday, May 23, and the three rounds of group fixtures will be played on consecutive weekends, with semi-finals and relegation play-offs scheduled for the for the weekend of June 12/13.  

There will then follow a two-week break ahead of the Lidl National League Finals – to be played on the weekend of June 26/27.  

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Division 1A Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May –  Mayo vs Galway, Donegal vs Westmeath

Sunday, 30th May – Donegal vs Mayo, Galway vs Westmeath

Sunday, 6th June – Westmeath vs Mayo, Galway vs Donegal

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Division 1B Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May – Cork vs Tipperary, Dublin vs Waterford
 
 Sunday, 30th May – Cork vs Dublin, Tipperary vs Waterford

 Sunday, 6th June – Waterford vs Cork, Tipperary vs Dublin

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Division 2A Fixtures (first named team at home) 

Sunday, 23rd May – Meath vs Kerry, Clare vs Wexford
 
 Sunday, 30th May – Wexford vs Meath, Kerry vs Clare

Sunday, 6th June – Kerry vs Wexford, Meath vs Clare

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Division 2B Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May – Monaghan vs Cavan, Tyrone vs Armagh

Sunday, 30th May – Tyrone vs Cavan, Armagh vs Monaghan

Sunday, 6th June – Monaghan vs Tyrone, Cavan vs Armagh

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Division 3A Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May – Down vs Sligo, Roscommon vs Fermanagh

Sunday, 30th May – Roscommon vs Down, Fermanagh vs Sligo

Sunday, 6th June – Fermanagh vs Down, Sligo vs Roscommon

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Division 3B Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May – Laois vs Kildare, Longford vs Wicklow

Sunday, 30th May – Longford vs Laois, Wicklow vs Kildare

Sunday, 6th June – Kildare vs Longford, Wicklow vs Laois

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Division 4A Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May – Leitrim vs Louth, Derry vs Antrim

Sunday, 30th May – Leitrim vs Derry, Louth vs Antrim

Sunday, 6th June –  Louth vs Derry, Antrim vs Leitrim

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Division 4B Fixtures (first named team at home)

Sunday, 23rd May – Carlow vs Offaly

Sunday, 30th May – Offaly vs Limerick

Sunday, 6th June – Limerick vs Carlow

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