Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1
Dublin v Westmeath
Sunday 3rd Of March
Venue: DCU (St Clares)
Referee: Jonathan Murphy
Mick Bohan has made eight changes to his Dublin Ladies Football starting side to face Westmeath on Sunday in round four of the Lidl Ladies National Football League.
Into the reshuffled side come Noelle Healy, Rachel Ruddy, Emma McDonagh, Sarah Fagan, Jennifer Dunne, Carla Rowe, Kate Sullivan and Siobhan Killeen with Martha Byrne, Kate Fitzgibbon, Siobhan McGrath, Lucy Collins, Siobhan Woods, Oonagh Whyte, Lyndsey Davey and Niamh McEvoy dropping to the bench.
Dublin Boss Mick Bohan traditionally uses the early rounds of the Lidl NFL to look at all the options available to him in his squad – giving plenty of game time to fringe players and blooding new talent, so a large number of changes to his Dublin Ladies Football starting team at this time of the year is not unusual.
The Sky Blues have enjoyed the upper hand over Westmeath for a number of seasons and won both meetings between the teams last season although both victories were achieved in very different circumstances.
Last February both sides locked horns in the second round of the Lidl NFL and Dublin were pushed all the way by their Leinster Rivals.
Westmeath led at halftime by 1-04 to 0-04 with goal fornthe Lake County Girls coming from Anna Jones.
They looked poised to pull off a shock win when they went seven points clear in the 41st minute courtesy of a goal from Kelly Boyce Jordan which left the score 2-05 to 0-04 in the midlanders favour.
But the introduction of Noelle Healy for the second half and crucial goals from Carla Rowe and Sinead Aherne turned the tide and Dublin albeit with a couple of late scares held on for a five point victory by 2-10 to 2-05.
The next meeting between the two teams was on the 1st of July in the Leinster Championship Final In Netwatch Cullen Park In Carlow.
Unlike their early meeting in the league the Dublin Ladies Football side dominated the contest from start to finish. Inside the opening three minutes Bohan’s charges led by 1-02 to 0-01 with the goal coming from Player of The Match Niamh McEvoy.
The sky blues added two more goals before the break from Noelle Healy and Lyndsey Davey to lead at the short whistle by 3-05 to 1-04.
A flurry of points from Sinead Aherne increased the Dublin lead and a second goal from Niamh McEvoy ended the game as a constant.
The girls from the Capital added a fifth goal in the dying minutes from Aherne to claim their seventh Leinster title in a row on a scoreline of 5-11 to 2-08.
Dublin head into Sunday’s game looking for their third straight Lidl NFL win, an opening day defeat to Donegal was followed by victories over Tipperary by 6-09 to 2-08 and Mayo by 1-17 to 3-09.
Westmeath on the other hand will be desperate to end a two game losing streak. The midlanders began their League campaign with victory over Monaghan by 1-14 to 0-07 but have suffered two heavy defeats since against Cork by 0-10 to 0-08 and Galway by 3-15 to 2-05.
Dublin will be aiming to make home advantage count and keep the Indian sign over Westmeath, but they will certainly have to tighten up at the back and avoid conceding the type of soft goals they have in their opening three games.
If Bohan’s defence is as open and loose marking as they were against Mayo, then Westmeath have the forwards to exploit that type of generosity and will score goals.
But work will have been done this week to address those defensive issues and with the firepower both starting the game and available from the bench you can’t look beyond a Dublin win.
The action gets underway on Sunday in DCU St. Clares at 2pm and we will have live updates over on our Twitter account http://www.twitter.com/wearedub and halftime and full time score updates on our Facebook account http://www.facebook.com/wearedub and Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/wearedublingaa/ plus the post match report and analysis from the game right here and on www.facebook.com/wearedub
Dublin Senior Ladies Football Starting 15:
1. Ciara Trant
2. Rachel Ruddy
Ballyboden St. Endas
3. Niamh Collins
4. Emma McDonagh
5. Aoife Kane
6. Lauren Magee
7. Sarah Fagan
8. Jennifer Dunne
9. Olwen Carey
10. Hannah O’Neill
11. Carla Rowe
12. Kate Sullivan
13. Siobhan Killeen
14. Noelle Healy
15. Nicole Owens
16. Rachel Fleming
17. Orlagh Nolan
Ballinteer St Johns
18. Siobhan Woods
19. Ciara McGuigan
20. Niamh Hetherton
21. Siobhan McGrath
22. Eabha Rutladge
23. Niamh McEvoy
24. Sinead Goldrick
25. Sinead Aherne
26. Ciara Ruddy
Ballyboden St Endas
27. Caoimhe O’Connor
28. Oonagh Whyte
29. Kate Fitzgibbon
30. Lucy Collins