Cork, Dublin, Donegal and Galway unveil starting teams ahead of football league semi-finals

The Division 1 semi-finals are both down for decision this weekend.

DUBLIN BOSS MICK Bohan has rung the changes as the champions prepare for Sunday’s Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 semi-final clash with Cork at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny at 2pm.

Ciara O'Sullivan with Sinead Finnegan Cork's Ciara O'Sullivan and Sinead Finnegan of Dublin will be in action this weekend. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Bohan has made eight changes in personnel to the team that lost out to the Rebelettes in the final round of group fixtures.

All-Star goalkeeper Ciara Trant replaces Rachel Fleming while there are also starts for Martha Byrne, Rachel Ruddy and Niamh Collins in defence.

Lauren Magee comes in at midfield while Lyndsey Davey, Footballer of the Year and captain Sinéad Aherne and Nicole Owens are listed in attack.

From the team that started against Cork, Éabha Rutledge, Emma McDonagh, Niamh Hetherton, Siobhán McGrath, Siobhán Woods, Siobhán Killeen and Kate Sullivan drop out.

Cork, meanwhile, have also made a switch between the sticks, with Martina O’Brien replacing Lisa Crowley.

There’s a further change in the team and it’s in attack, where Orla Finn slots in ahead of Rhona Ní Bhuachalla.

Orla Finn Cork forward Orla Finn. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

There’s lots of talent and firepower on the Cork bench, with captain Doireann O’Sullivan and Eimear Scally to call upon.

There’s also a welcome return to the Cork set-up for Saoirse Noonan, who lit up the 2018 championship in her debut season.

Former underage start Noonan, from the Nemo Rangers club, has recently recovered from a serious knee injury and is listed at number 26 for Cork.

In total, there are 13 survivors from the 2018 TG4 All-Ireland Final meeting between the sides in the Dublin team.

Leah Caffrey and Siobhan McGrath are the two players who will not start on this occasion, but who were in from the start in front of 50,141 spectators at Croke Park last September.

Their direct replacements on this occasion are two-time All-Star Rachel Ruddy, who was unavailable in 2018, and Aoife Kane.

Rachel Ruddy and Lyndsey Davey celebrate Rachel Ruddy and Lyndsey Davey celebrating Dublin's 2017 All-Ireland final victory. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Cork, in contrast, have just seven players starting on Sunday who lined out against Dublin in the 2018 All-Ireland final, namely Martina O’Brien, Hannah Looney, Eimear Meaney, Maire O’Callaghan, Ciara O’Sullivan, Libby Coppinger and Orla Finn.

The LGFA has confirmed that both of the weekend’s Division 1 semi-finals will be live on their Facebook Page:

Cork and Dublin will know who their potential final opponents are before they get their match underway, as Donegal and Galway lock horns at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford tomorrow at 2.15pm.

That game is preceded by the Division 3 semi-final between Connacht rivals Roscommon and Sligo, which will also be streamed live on the LGFA Facebook Page.

Galway and Donegal is also a repeat meeting of the Round 7 group fixture between the counties, which Galway won.

The Tribeswomen, who have been impressive under the stewardship of Tim Rabbitte, are unchanged from that fixture while Donegal have made just one switch, with goalkeeper Aislin Nee replacing Aoife McColgan.

Tracey Leonard Tracey Leonard will captain Galway this weekend. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Division 1

Cork (v Dublin): M O’Brien; C O’Shea, H Looney, E Meaney; D Kiely, A Hutchings, E Kiely; M O’Callaghan, N Cotter; O Farmer, C O’Sullivan, L O’Mahony; L Coppinger, O Finn, S O’Leary.

Dublin (v Cork): C Trant; M Byrne, O Carey, R Ruddy; A Kane, S Finnegan, N Collins; S Goldrick, L Magee; C Rowe, N McEvoy, L Davey; S Aherne (capt), N Healy, N Owens.

Donegal (v Galway): A Nee; AM McGlynn, E Gallagher, E McGinley; N Carr, N McLaughlin, T Hegarty; N Boyle, M Ryan; K Guthrie (capt), N Hegarty, A Boyle Carr; S McGroddy, R Friel, J Trearty.

Galway (v Donegal): L Murphy; S Molloy, S Lynch, F Cooney; L Gannon, S Burke, C Cooney; L Ward, B Hannon; O Divilly, T Leonard (capt), M Glynn; L Coen, R Leonard, M Seoighe.

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to preview the Champions Cup semi-finals and all the week’s news on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:

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