The LGFA inter-county season gets underway this evening, with Mayo opening their NFL Division One campaign against Westmeath in the Connacht GAA Air Dome. Throw-in at the Dome is 7pm.
We named our team for this evening’s match last night. Here it is:
Mayo (LGFA NFL Division One v Westmeath, 12/2/2022): Aisling Tarpey (Foxrock Cabinteely); Éilis Ronayne (Davitts), Sherin El Massry (Westport), Saoirse Lally (Westport); Tamara O’Connor (Cill Chomain), Fiona McHale (Carnacon), Nicola Hession (Hollymount); Sinéad Cafferky (Kilmovee Shamrocks), Aoife Geraghty (Westport); Sarah Mulvihil (Knockmore), Lisa Cafferky (Kilmovee Shamrocks), Shauna Howley (Knockmore, captain); Rachel Baynes (Burrishoole), Ciara Whyte (Kilmoremoy), Maria Reilly (Kiltane).
This is obviously a much-changed starting fifteen from the last one Michael Moyles fielded, which was against Dublin in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final. The Australian exodus has, obviously, stripped the side of a number of heavy hitters this spring, while a mixture of injuries and player unavailability has resulted in further changes from last year.
As a result, the team for this evening only features five of the side that started against Dublin back in August. Saoirse Lally, Tamara O’Connor, Fiona McHale, Sinéad and Lisa Cafferky all lined out on that evening of evenings (the ladies lost but, of course, the lads downed the six-in-a-row champions in the match played afterwards), while Ciara Whyte and Maria Reilly – both named to start in the Dome this evening – appeared as substitutes at Croke Park.
Westmeath come into this fixture – an historic one in that it’s the first competitive LGFA match to be played at an indoor venue – off the back of their Intermediate Championship success last year. No more than neighbours Meath, who swept so impressively to the Senior title last year having only just come up from Intermediate, the Lake County will surely be eyeing further improvements in 2022.
That could make this one a tough enough challenge for the new-look home team. That said, if Lisa Cafferky’s interview with Mike Finnerty on the podcast (which is available to club members on Patreon) is anything to go by, the mood within the squad is good, with the new players who have come in looking at this as the ideal opportunity to stake their claim on a team place over the longer term.
Tickets for this evening’s game are still available and must be purchased in advance, which you can do here. Everyone (including kids) has to have a ticket to gain entry to the Dome this evening.
If you want to watch it live but can’t get to the Dome, the game is being streamed live on the LGFA’s new streaming service – details on which are here. Match passes cost only €5 but even better value is their season pass, which is a steal at €50. Sorting one of those is on my to-do list between now and throw-in later on.
We’ve a Discord chat on the game open for club members on Patreon where I’ll be providing in-game updates from my vantage point on the couch. I’ll also be back here with a match report later on.
Best of luck to the Mayo women as their season gets underway this evening.