Captains and representatives from the eight counties participating in the 2024 Lidl Ladies National Football League Finals gathered earlier today at Lidl Head Office in Tallaght, Dublin, with their sights firmly set on weekend silverware.

The Divisions 3 and 4 Finals will form part of a double-header at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park, Birr, next Saturday, April 6, followed by another double-bill on Sunday, April 7, at Croke Park, when the Divisions 1 and 2 champions will be crowned.

Meath and Kerry have shone in their post-promotion seasons and now Armagh are in position to do likewise.

The Division One fixture is a repeat of the 2022 Lidl NFL Division 2 Final between the counties, won by Kerry, while Armagh returned to Croke Park last year and won the second tier title Final against Laois to gain promotion to the top flight.

Any worries that Armagh might be overwhelmed by Division 1 football were quickly allayed as they scorched through the group phase of the 2024 competition, winning six games in a row before losing to Dublin in Round 7, and with an understrength team on show from the start.

If recent form is a barometer, both sides are in good shape heading into this one and it is Armagh who have the psychological pre-match edge after winning against Kerry in early March.

Kerry were once undisputed Division 1 League queens. From 1980-1985, they won six successive titles and followed that up with five-in-a-row from 1987-1991.

The long wait for a 12th title ended in 2023 when the team managed by Declan Quill and Darragh Long got the better of Galway in impressive fashion at Croke Park – and now they’re aiming to hang onto the coveted silverware.

The Division 1 Final will throw in at 3pm and will be preceded at 1pm by the Division 2 decider involving Kildare and Tyrone, who have both been promoted to the top flight for 2025.

Kildare may start as slight favourites by virtue of the fact that they topped the Division 2 standings with 19 points from seven outings, with Tyrone two points further back, but both teams are unbeaten to date in 2024 and the sides couldn’t be separated when they faced each other in the group stages.

For Kildare, next Sunday represents a fourth Division 2 Final appearance. They won this competition in 2004, and were runners-up in 2006 and 2010, while Tyrone are aiming for their second Division 2 title, following victory in their sole previous appearance in a second tier Final against Dublin back in 1999.

The 2024 Lidl National League Finals get underway at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park in Birr on Saturday, with Division 3 and Division 4 silverware on offer.

The Division 4 Final between Carlow and Limerick, both promoted to Division 3 for 2025, is the first game up at 2pm, followed by the Division 3 Final involving Clare and Roscommon at 4pm, with both teams assured of Division 2 football next year.

Carlow and Limerick achieved dramatic semi-final victories against Fermanagh and Leitrim respectively to clinch promotion and book a place in the Division 4 showpiece, and upset the formbook in the process.

The counties met in Round 7 of the group phase and that game resulted in a two-point victory for Limerick, with another close encounter anticipated in the Final.

Carlow are sailing into uncharted territory, getting ready for a very first Division 4 Final, while Limerick have previous experience of winning this competition, back in 2016.

The Munster outfit will be conscious, however, of the fact that they’ve suffered defeat in the 2022, 2015, 2012 and 2010 Finals, as they prepare for their sixth fourth tier decider.

Meanwhile, there’s huge motivation within both camps ahead of the Lidl National League Division 3 Final.

Clare were stung by defeat in the 2023 decider, when the Banner County lost a thrilling decider against Kildare at Parnell Park that went all the way to extra-time.

Roscommon, meanwhile, are aiming to win Division 3 silverware for the second time in three seasons.

After landing the title in 2022, the Connacht outfit suffered relegation last year but have bounced back at the first attempt to the second tier.

Looking at the roll of honour, Clare have previous form in this competition.

Clare were Finalists last year and they won’t want to lose a second successive decider.

They were, however, successful in Final appearances in 2011 and 2006, while Roscommon, champions two years ago , have also lifted the trophy in 2009 and 2001.

Roscommon’s first Division 3 Final appearance was back in 1997, when they lost out to Longford, but they have a 100 per cent record in Division 3 Finals since then.

The Divisions 3 and 4 Finals will be available to view on the Spórt TG4 YouTube channel while the Division One and Two games on Sunday will be televised live on TG4.

Armagh and Kerry were represented today by respective captains Clodagh McCambridge and Niamh Carmody, with captains Grace Clifford (Kildare) and Aoibhinn McHugh (Tyrone) present on behalf of the Division 2 Finalists.

Clare captain Caoimhe Harvey made the trip to Dublin, where she was joined by her Roscommon counterpart, Ellen Irwin, ahead of the Division 3 Final, while Division 4 captains Ruth Bermingham (Carlow) and Róisín Ambrose (Limerick) were also present at Lidl Head Office.

“We’re looking forward to four excellent games of Ladies Football over the coming weekend, as we get set to crown our 2024 Lidl National League champions,” said LGFA President Micheál Naughton.

“Best wishes to the eight counties involved, who have performed extremely well to get this far.”

“To launch the 2024 Lidl National Leagues, our competition sponsors and official retail partner urged fans of our sport to ‘Get Behind the Fight’ and boost attendances at our fixtures. I’m looking forward to seeing big crowds attending our Finals at the weekend, and I anticipate more and more people coming to watch our great games in the coming weeks and months.”

“The Lidl National Football League season kicked off back in January with a compelling call to action to join the fight and support our female athletes by attending more fixtures,” added Eimear O’Sullivan, Corporate Affairs Director Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland.

“There has definitely been positive growth across the Leagues and we will continue to build on this momentum. Our research revealed that the perceived cost of attending women’s sporting events can be a barrier, but the LGFA continues to offer great value to spectators across the Leagues and, with two action-packed clashes for the price of one this weekend, we’re encouraging families to come out and support our female players and enjoy a top family day out.”

Ticket details for all four games are available by visiting the Ladies Gaelic Football Association website


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