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Dublin look to maintain winning start to the league as All-Stars return from Bangkok

Meanwhile, reigning league champions Cork will renew their rivalry against Mayo this weekend.

ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS Dublin are looking to maintain their winning start to this year’s Division 1 campaign in the pursuit of a first top-flight league title, as they prepare to face Galway this weekend.

The All-Stars touring party has returned home from a trip to Bangkok, and many of the players will be preparing to battle it out for a top-four spot in Round 6 on Sunday.

Both Dublin and Galway have named strong starting teams for their clash at Abbotstown, with experienced players including Sinéad Aherne, Lyndsey Davey and Noelle Healy providing scoring threats in Dublin’s attack.

Galway’s defensive unit includes the impressive Nicola Ward, while the always lively Tracey Leonard and Olivia Leonard feature among the forwards.

Cork and Mayo will meet this weekend in Mallow for the first time since their thrilling All-Ireland semi-final clash last year, when Mayo stunned the then-reigning All-Ireland champions  in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Ephie Fitzgerald’s side were dealt a blow earlier this week following the news that dual star Rena Buckley will not be available for selection once again this year, while the inter-county future of Bríd Stack remains uncertain.

Cork however, are still competing well in the top division and are currently just three points off table leaders Dublin.

A number of their more experienced campaigners are named to start against Mayo on Sunday, including the O’Sullivan sisters Doireann and Ciara from Mourneabbey, along with established defender Marie Ambrose.

Aileen Gilroy scores a goal Mayo's Aileen Gilroy in action against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final last year. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

A victory for Mayo this weekend could boost their chances of clinching a place in the league semi-finals.

Regular starters Fiona McHale and Aileen Gilroy are both in the starting team, as well as Sarah Tierney and Sarah Rowe.

Meanwhile, Westmeath will need to come away from their clash against Monaghan with a victory to avoid facing the drop to Division 2.

They have lost all four of their games so far in this campaign, and are three points adrift of Monaghan and Kerry in the table.

Elsewhere, last year’s league finalists Donegal are due to host Kerry in Ballybofey, where the travelling team will be keen to come away with a win to ease their relegation fears.

Donegal are still on course to clinch a spot in the semi-finals, with Yvonne Bonner proving to be an important attacking threat for Maxi Curran’s side so far.

Dublin

1. Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s)

2. Martha Byrne (Cuala)
3. Katie Murray (Clontarf)
4. Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna)

5. Sinéad Goldrick (Foxrock Cabinteely)
6. Siobhan McGrath (Thomas Davis)
7. Niamh Collins (Foxrock Cabinteely)

8. Jennifer Dunne (Cuala)
9. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis)

10. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps)
11. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s)
12. Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes)

13. Sinéad Aherne (St Sylvester’s)
14. Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s)
15. Rebecca McDonnell (Clanna Gael Fontenoy)

Galway

1. Lisa Murphy (Kilkerrin/Clonberne)

2. Fabienne Cooney (Claregalway)
3. Sarah Lynch (Naomh Anna Leitir Móir)
4. Shauna Molloy (St. Fursey’s)

5. Charlotte Cooney (Claregalway)
6. Nicola Ward (Kilkerrin/Clonberne)
7. Noelle Connolly (Glenamaddy/Williamstown)

8. Catriona Cormican (St Gabriel’s)
9. Lisa Gannon (Kilkerrin/Clonberne)

10. Áine McDonagh (Moycullen)
11. Tracey Leonard (Corofin)
12. Ailbhe Davoren (Moycullen)

13. Olivia Divilly (Kilkerrin/Clonberne)
14. Sarah Conneally (Dunmore McHales)
15. Leanne Coen (Corofin)

Division 1 Round 6 Fixtures — 24/25 March

Sunday 25 March

Monaghan v Westmeath, Clones, 1pm

Cork  v Mayo, Mallow, 2.00pm

Donegal v Kerry,  Ballybofey, 1.00pm

Dublin v Galway, NGDC Abbotstown, 1.30pm

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