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11-time All-Ireland champions Cork to play in Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the first time

The main county grounds will play host to an historic double-header after plans fell through last year.

Cork will open their Division 1 league title defence at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Cork will open their Division 1 league title defence at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

THE CORK LADIES footballers are set for their first-ever competitive outing at Páirc Uí Chaoimh later this month after missing out on a coveted maiden appearance there last year.

The 11-time All-Ireland winners will open the defence of their Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 title at the main county grounds against Westmeath on Saturday, 25 January, with the game forming part of a double-header with their male counterparts.

Ronan McCarthy’s side welcome Offaly to Leeside in their own Division 3 opener. Throw-in is set for 6pm, with the ladies clash scheduled to get underway at 4pm.

Last January, it was announced that Ephie Fitzgerald’s ladies footballers would play two league games at Páirc Uí Chaoimh as part of double-header fixtures.

But those appearances never materialised due to development work at the stadium. The double-headers went ahead, but were staged at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Star forward Doireann O’Sullivan will captain the side into battle once again after sealing back-to-back club All-Ireland wins with Mourneabbey, while Fitzgerald returns to the helm after a managerial U-turn. 

Last year, the Rebels landed the Division 1 league title and reached the All-Ireland semi-final. Edged out in the last four by Dublin, Cork are eyeing a first All-Ireland title since 2016.

While Fitzgerald steered Cork to their 11th All-Ireland title in 12 years — also six-in-a-row — in his first season in charge, the county have not reached the Holy Grail since. 

Elsewhere in double-header news today, Dublin and Mayo LGFA have both announced that their Division 1 league fixture against Mayo on Saturday, 1 February, will be a double-header with their male counterparts at Elvery’s McHale Park.

The same thing was done in the 2018 league campaign, with Dublin winning both ties in Castlebar.

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- Updated 14.30 with Dublin-Mayo news

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Emma Duffy

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