Westmeath Ladies Name Team For Cork Trip

Lidl NFL Division 1 Champions Cork get the chance to play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the very first time on Saturday, in an historic fixture against Westmeath (4.0).

There are eight survivors from the team that landed the 2019 crown against Galway, goalkeeper Martina O’Brien, Hannah Looney, Melissa Duggan, Maire O’Callaghan, Shauna Kelly, Aisling Hutchings, Orlagh Farmer and All-Star forward Orla Finn all named to start.

Cork have been boosted significantly by the return of Roisin Phelan to their starting line-up, after the former All-Ireland winner and All Star missed the 2019 season due to work commitments in Dublin.

Westmeath will be captained by Fiona Claffey for the trip to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the Lake County know they will have to battle hard to remain in the top flight after suffering relegation to the Intermediate Championship ranks for 2020.

Returning to Sunday and Galway have named six of the team that lined out against Dublin in the 2019 All-Ireland Senior Final for their opening League fixture of 2020.

Sarah Lynch, Shauna Molloy, Olivia Divilly, Sarah Conneally, Tracey Leonard and Roisin Leonard are all in the team to face newly-promoted Waterford in Corofin (2.0).

Life for Waterford without recently-retired Michelle Ryan begins for the Déise with a tough fixture away to Galway, who were also 2019 Lidl NFL Division 1 runners-up.

Also on Sunday, Mayo host Donegal at Swinford Amenity Park (2.30pm), with Mayo boss Peter Leahy without the Kelly sisters, Niamh and Grace, and Sarah Rowe in attack, with all three in Australia.

TG4 All Star Rachel Kearns, who was brilliant for CL MacHale Rovers in the All-Ireland Junior Club Final before Christmas, will lead the Mayo attack from the full-forward line.

A youthful Donegal side make the trip to Swinford with Emer Gallagher and Deirdre Foley providing experience in defence, while ace attacker Geraldine McLaughlin is listed at centre half forward.

Cork: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, C O’Callaghan; S Kelly, A Hutchings, M Duggan; M O’Callaghan, H Looney; L Cleary, B O’Sullivan, O Farmer; S O’Leary, Á O’Sullivan, O Finn.

Westmeath: L McCormack; R Dillon; K McDermott, L Power; F Coyle, F Claffey, A Roche; J Maher, V Carr; A Jones, L Archibold, L McCartan; J Draper, S McCormack, A Dolan.