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Quintet of Ulster sides are aiming high as pursuit of glory hots up

 

Roisin O'Reilly
Roisin O'Reilly
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Five Ulster teams are in the frame to make an impact in the Lidl Ladies National Football League this weekend.

Armagh and Donegal will lead the charge for honours when they face up to Kerry and Galway respectively.

Even though they will be understrength for what is their second meeting with Kerry within a matter of weeks, Armagh feel they have the strength in depth to shake off the considerable loss of the Mackin sisters Aimee and Blaithin, although there is a chance that Caroline O'Hanlon might now be available to shore up the midfield zone.

Kerry have already claimed the Orchard County's scalp and will feel they can repeat this feat today at Athy (1.30pm).

Donegal, meanwhile, face a difficult assignment against Galway in a Division One showdown at Pearse Park, Longford (2.15pm) that could see the Western County make it into the decider.

They are unchanged from their last meeting with Donegal and are playing with verve and confidence just now, while their opponents have been somewhat erratic.

In today's two Division Four semi-finals, there is a strong Ulster interest with Fermanagh taking on Limerick at Coralstown/Kinnegad (1pm) and Antrim meeting Louth at Clones (12.30pm).

Fermanagh were beaten by Louth in their last outing and will need to look sharp against a Limerick side that has been more consistent of late.

Fermanagh will look to Roisin O'Reilly, Eimear Smyth, Lisa Maguire, Blaithin Bogue and Courtney Murphy to spearhead their challenge for a place in the divisional final.

Smyth has been especially proficient in the Fermanagh attack over the past two years and her cutting-edge scoring touch could considerably boost her team's chances of winning today.

The Erne outfit have achieved a level of consistency that gives rise to the belief that they would reach their divisional final and that would be viewed as a big boost.

Tomorrow, an upbeat Cavan side will take on Waterford in the other Division Two semi-final at Banagher in Offaly (1.30pm) and this could prove to be a close encounter.

Cavan created something of a surprise when they overcame fancied Kerry in their most recent outing and manager James Daly, the ex-Armagh boss, is summoning a similar effort from his side again against a Waterford team that have earned their place at this stage.

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