Saturday 16 February 2019

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Cork Independent

Sport

Ladies footballers get season underway

Thursday, 31st January, 2019 8:37am

Daragh Small

 

2018 was a mixed year for Eimear Meaney. Although Cork suffered defeat in the All-Ireland Final in September, Meaney and her clubmates in Mourneabbey finally reached the summit, winning the club All-Ireland Senior title after suffering defeat three times in the previous four years.

Speaking this week at the launch of the Lidl National Football League, Meaney said it's Cork’s aim is to get back to Croke Park in 2019 in order to bury the memories of the disappointing defeat to Dublin last September.

“We were bitterly disappointed last year. Our aim is to get back to Croke Park again this year,” said the 2018 All-Star nominee.

“You have to take every competition as it comes. At the moment we are focusing on the league and hopefully getting the league off to a good start, onto Munster championship and hopefully go onto the All-Ireland series then. Obviously we want to go back and get a second chance at it. But at the moment we are just concentrating on having a good league campaign.”

As well as streaming a game from each of the seven regulation rounds of fixtures, the LGFA Facebook page will also broadcast selected semi-finals from the competition.

While the honour of playing the first game of the season falls to the All-Ireland runners-up, reigning league and All-Ireland champions Dublin host Donegal in the second Division 1 tie at Croke Park later in the day, a tie that will be televised live on eir sport.

And after 50,141 turned out at Croke Park to see Dublin defeat Cork in last September’s TG4 All-Ireland final, Meaney is thrilled with the stride Ladies Football continues to take.

“We are breaking records every year at the All-Ireland finals for the attendance. There is growing support all over the country,” said Meaney.

“You are getting more young people involved in the game.”

It has been a busy few months away from the intercounty fields for Meaney, too, after she player her part in helping Mourneabbey to All-Ireland senior club success at the end of 2018.

And she knows it’s crucial that her county begin the new year with a win.

“I am looking forward to getting back at it now. First league game this Saturday against Galway. So hoping to start the year with a good win and hopefully get a few scores on the board and start as we mean to go on.”

Ephie Fitzgerald’s side launch their Lidl Division 1 campaign by welcoming Galway to Mallow on Saturday at 1pm.

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