9 All-Ireland winners to start for Dublin Ladies in league opener against 2017 finalists Donegal

The starting teams have been named for all the first round Division 1 fixtures this weekend.

DUBLIN LADIES MANAGER Mick Bohan has named an impressive team for the opening round of their Lidl National League campagin, with nine of last year’s All-Ireland winning side getting the nod for the clash against Donegal.

Among that group are seasoned campaigners Lyndsey Davey, Carla Rowe and Niamh McEvoy, who will line out in Dublin’s attack. Joining them will be Clontarf woman Sarah McCaffrey, who scored a brace of goals after being introduced as a sub in the All-Ireland final.

Ciara Trant will take up her usual position in goals, while Martha Byrne, Leah Caffrey and Niamh Collins will make up the core part of the defence.

Lauren Magee and Olwen Carey have been chosen to form a strong partnership in midfield.

All-Ireland winning captain Sinéad Aherne and Nicole Owens, who were also on the pitch when Dublin defeated Mayo in the All-Ireland final last September, have been named on the bench.

Donegal manager Maxi Curran has selected a strong side for that tie, as the Ulster side look to work their way back into the league final, having narrowly lost out to Cork in last year’s decider.

Sisters Ciara and Niamh Hegarty are both named to start, while former captain Aoife McDonnell is also in the starting line-up.

Elsewhere in Division 1, Cork will take on Munster rivals Kerry in their opening game. Experienced forwards Orla Finn, Eimear Scally and Doireann O’Sullivan have all been selected to start.

Orla Finn Orla Finn in action for Cork. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Aislinn Desmond and Sarah Houlihan will form key parts of the Kerry team that will hope to subdue the 11-time All-Ireland champions on Sunday.

2017 All-Ireland finalists Mayo will be without the services of Cora Staunton for their first-round fixture against Westmeath, while fellow stalwarts Martha Carter and Yvonne Byrne have yet to indicate their plans for the 2018 season.

In their absence, 2017 captain Sarah Tierney, Fiona McHale and Aileen Gilroy will be called upon to provide leadership for the Connacht side.

Laura Walsh, Fiona Claffey and Maud Annie Foley are all scoring threats for Westmeath that could cause problems for the Mayo defence in that clash.

Finally, Galway welcome Monaghan to the Connacht Centre of Excellence with experienced players Tracey Leonard and Sinéad Burke both included in the starting XV for the hosts.

The Courtney sisters Cora and Sharon will line out for Monaghan, while 2015 All-Star goalkeeper Linda Martin will be commanding the defence from between the sticks.


1. Ciara Trant

2. Martha Byrne
3. Katie Murray
4. Laura McGinley

5. Leah Caffrey
6. Muireann Ni Scanaill
7. Niamh Collins

8. Lauren Magee
9. Olwen Carey

10. Carla Rowe
11. Lyndsey Davey
12. Eabha Rutledge

13. Sarah McCaffrey
14. Niamh McEvoy
15. Oonagh Whyte

Round 1 Division 1 Fixtures – 28 Jaunary:

Mayo v Westmeath – Swinford, 12.30pm

Kerry v Cork - Knocknagoshel, 2pm

Donegal v Dublin - Letterkenny

Galway v Monaghan - Connacht Centre of Excellence, 3pm

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