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The ‘Battle of the Champions’ will kick-start the LGFA’s Facebook Live coverage of the 2020 Lidl National League campaign. 2019 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Champions Dublin welcome Intermediate winners Tipperary to Ballyboden St Endas for a 2pm start, with Sky Blues boss Mick Bohan choosing six of the team that landed the Brendan Martin Cup for a third successive season. 

Visitors Tipperary have ten of the team that started the Intermediate decider against Meath in their starting line-up, as they aim to preserve top-flight status once again. 

Tipp acquitted themselves well in Division 1 last season, claiming a famous victory over Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn along the way. 

They’re without Aisling McCarthy and the injured Anna Rose Kennedy for the trip to the capital, but there’s still enough quality in the team to give Dublin a real test. 

Round 1 - Tipperary v Dublin

Score: Dublin 0-10 Tipperary 1-7 

Date & Location: 26/01/2020 Ballyboden St Enda's

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)

An All-Star nominee in 2019, Moloney was a thorn in the side of the All-Ireland champions’ defence throughout. Carla Rowe led by example for Mick Bohan’s charges and her impressive haul of 0-5 looked set to squeeze the 2018 champions over the line. However, Moloney displayed nerves of steel to curl a 65th minute effort between the posts which brought her final tally to 1-6 in the process. (Aishlings Equalising Point & Goal)

Starting with just six of the team that defeated Galway in last September’s All-Ireland final, Dublin hit the ground running through Oonagh Whyte and Carla Rowe points - the latter coming from a close-range free.

The Tipperary line-up featured nine of the side which overcame Meath in last year’s All-Ireland intermediate decider, and although they took their time to settle, the Premier County exploded into life at the end of the opening quarter.

After converting an earlier free, Moloney brilliantly gathered a long delivery on the edge of the square and coolly fired beyond the reach of Sky Blues goalkeeper Ciara Trant.

This suddenly propelled Tipperary into the driving seat and with Dublin struggling to make headway in attack additional points, which arrived courtesy of Caitlin Kennedy and Moloney (two), gave Shane Ronayne's visitors a deserved 1-4 to 0-2 cushion at the break.

Dublin were much-improved on the resumption when Rowe and the returning Leah Caffrey posted unanswered scores for the hosts.

Though the ever-dangerous Moloney found the target from long-range, Tipperary lost captain Samantha Lambert to the sin-bin in the 38th minute. In her absence, Dublin registered three points without reply via the boot of Rowe (two) and Caffrey.

Moloney kicked a routine free in advance of Lambert's return, but the Dublin challenge gathered significant pace moving into the closing-quarter. Despite losing Lauren Magee to a yellow-card, the capital outfit looked set to prevail when Rowe (free), Kate Sullivan and the roaming Niamh Collins raised white flags in quick succession. That was until Moloney's dramatic intervention ensured both sides had to be content with a point apiece from this compelling encounter.

Congratulations to Sarah McKevitt, Niamh Hayes (pictured below), Kate Davey, Megan Heffernan and Ellen Moore who all made their Senior debuts for Tipperary.



Dublin: C Trant; M Byrne, M Ní Scanaill, L McGinley; L Magee, N Collins (0-1), L Caffrey (0-2); J Dunne, L Collins; L Kane, C Rowe (0-5, 0-4 frees), S McCaffrey; O Whyte (0-1), N Sweeney, R McDonnell. Subs: K Sullivan (0-1) for Kane (25th), S Woods for McCaffrey (ht), C O’Connor for Sweeney (ht), A Kane for Dunne (53rd), C McGuigan for McGinley (65th).

Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; E Moore, L Spillane, E Cronin; B Condon, S Lambert, M Curley; R Daly, L Dillon; N Hayes, E Morrissey, C Kennedy (0-1); R Daly, A Moloney (1-6, 0-3 frees), A Fennessy. Subs: K Davey for Fennessy (35th), C Condon for Winston (38th), S McKevitt for Dillon (44th), M Heffernan for Daly (44th).

Photo Credit:  Sportsfile

These two counties have been pitted against each other in a TG4 Munster semi-final in May. Before that, they lock horns in a Lidl NFL fixture that could turn out to be one of the games of the season. Tipp memorably defeated Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn last year, when Aishling Moloney scored one of the goals of the season with a stunning fisted effort. Cork will be anxious for revenge and they began their campaign with victory against Westmeath last Saturday, in what was the first ever fixture for the county’s senior team at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Moloney scored 1-6 against Dublin as Tipperary claimed a merited draw against Dublin in Ballyboden last Sunday. Tipp are unchanged as Sarah Leahy, Niamh Cotter and Laura Cleary come into the Cork team.

Round 2 - Tipperary v Cork

Score: Cork 2-11 Tpperary 1-06

Date & Location: Ardfinnan 1pm

Referee: Niall McCormack, Laois

(Picture: Cahir Media).



Reigning National League champions Cork recorded their second win of this year’s campaign when finishing much the stronger against Tipperary this afternoon at Ardfinnan winning by 2-11 to 1-6.
With 12 minutes remaining Tipperary were still very much in contention having reduced a six-points interval deficit to just two, but the Rebelettes managed 1-3 without reply down the closing stretch for a somewhat flattering eight points win. In the process they enacted sweet revenge for last year’s stunning defeat at the hands of Tipperary in Páirc Uí Rinn, a game won by an unforgettable Aishling Moloney late goal.

From the outset the intention of the visiting team was very clear as they went about making full use of the strong breeze at their backs to lead by 0-5 to 0-1 inside seven minutes.

While Tipperary had the first score of the game, a well-taken point by Roisin Daly after just 30 seconds, Cork soon imposed themselves on the Tipp rearguard. 

(Picture: Sportsfie)

An obvious tactic employed was that of putting huge pressure on the Tipperary kick-outs, Tipp struggling to get beyond the 45 for extended periods. Three Orla Finn frees, separated by two points from play from Brid O’Sullivan and wing-back Maria Curley had them four clear and looking very much in control.Tipp began to compose themselves a little better after the initial Cork flurry and got right back in the game with a brilliant goal from Caitlin Kennedy in the 11th minute.

(Picture: Sportsfie)

After Aishling Moloney traded passes with Laura Dillon, the Cahir forward played a delightful diagonal pass into the path of Kennedy who shot superbly from 20 metres to the top of the net. The fillip raised Tipperary spirits no end and with some solid defending they were keeping Cork at bay and the scoreboard quiet until a pair of points inside a minute from Saoirse Noonan and Orla Finn stretched the visitors advantage to 0-7 to 1-1 after 17 minutes.

(Picture: Sportsfie)

With the Tipp half-back line of Maria Curley, Brid Condon and captain Samantha Lambert working overtime a three points deficit against the strong breeze wasn’t too concerning until disaster struck in the 23rd minute. A poor kick-out was seized upon by Cork and an interlinking movement between Libby Coppinger and Aine O’Sullivan saw the latter powerfully hitting the back of the Tipperary net.
Late in the first half Aishling Moloney scored a superb point when taking on the red rearguard almost single-handedly to point before Maire O’Callaghan had the last score of the half to send Cork to the break leading by 1-8 to 1-2.

Tipp, who had recorded an excellent opening day draw with All-Ireland champions last weekend, came out for the second half and inside a minute were up on the scoreboard with a 43 metre free from Aishling Moloney after Caitlin Kennedy had been fouled.

Eight minutes in another Moloney free after she had been impeded in full flight reduced the deficit to four as Tipp were moving better with the elements behind them.

 (Picture: Cahir Media).

It seemed Cork were prepared to park the bus in Ardfinnan with at times 13 players behind the ball in the second half. Resultantly opportunities were few and far between for the Tipp forwards. Unlocking that defence was proving difficult and stamina-sapping in workrate, but in Aisling Moloney Tipp had the key and two points from play in the 44th and 48th minute had the margin back to just two.

It was to be as good as it got for Tipperary though and they weren’t to score again for the remaining 12 minutes or so. Like a boxer on the ropes for an extended period, Cork exploded with a barrage of three points inside two minutes from Orla Finn, Aine O’Sullivan and half-time substitute Sadhbh O’Leary to go five clear with 10 minutes remaining.

Indeed O’Sullivan had a gilt-edged opportunity to wrap up the game when claiming a poor kick-out but somehow she screwed her effort wide when it seemed easier to goal. Fortuitously three minutes later she made full amends when an effort at a Cork point ballooned up in the air and when it landed into the welcome arms of O’Sullivan this time the Beara clubwoman made no mistake to hammer the final nail in the Tipp coffin at 2-11 to 1-6.

All in all in was a flattering margin for the champions, their two goals coming as a result of kick-outs that strayed. Taking those errors out of the day, there was a lot of positivity to take from this home encounter even in defeat for Shane Ronayne’s outfit.

The defence were well led by captain Samantha with young Lucy Spillane at full-back, Maria Curley and Brid Condon tireless in their efforts. Caitlin Kennedy kicked a superb first half goal to crown a solid performance while Laura Dillon also got through a load of graft around the middle of the park. Aishling Moloney, despite the constant attention of a wary Cork defence, was the game’s outstanding game.



Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry), Ellen Moore (Moyne/Templetuohy), Lucy Spillane (Fethard), Emma Cronin (Moyle Rovers), Maria Curley (Templemore), Brid Condon (Aherlow), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan, capt), Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Caitlin Kennedy (Aherlow, 1-0), Orla Winston (Clonmel Commercials), Emma Morrissey (Aherlow), Roisin Daly (Moyne/Templetuohy, 0-1), Sarah McKevitt (Thurles Sarsfields), Aisling Moloney (Cahir, 0-5, 0-2F), Niam Hayes (Fethard).Subs: Kate Davey (Fethard) for McKevitt (35 mins); Marie Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields) for Laura Dillon (38); Megan Heffernan (Galtee Rovers) for Daly (45); Kate Cunningham (Lattin/Cullen) for Winston (47); Emer McCarthy (Galtee Rovers) for Kennedy (56); Anna Carey (Clonmel Commercials) for Moloney (56).


Martina O’Brien, Marie Ambrose, Roisin Phelan, Sarah Leahy, Laura O’Mahoney (0-1), Melissa Duggan, Aisling Hutchings, Maire O’Callaghan (0-1), Hannah Looney, Libby Coppinger, Brid O’Sullivan (0-1), Laura Cleary, Aine O’Sullivan (2-1), Saoirse Noonan (0-1), Orla Finn (0-5, 0-4F). Subs: Sadhbh O’Leary (0-1), Shauna Kelly and Orlagh Farmer (for Coppinger, B. O’Sullivan and Cleary, all half-time); Katie Quirke for Noonan (49); Eve Mullen for Looney (59).


Round 3 - Tipperary v Westmeath

Score: Tipperary 0-11 Westmeath 1-6

Date & Location: 16/02/2020 Bansha 1pm

Referee: Kevn Phelan, Laois

Tipperary battled their way past a strong and stubborn Westmeath effort to claim a vital win in Division 1 of the Lidl National Football League in a windswept Bansha.
Another outstanding individual performance from Tipperary's Aishling Moloney paved the way for the Premier ladies to claim the win in very tough conditions, as Storm Dennis played a big part in the quality of the game. (Photo Credit: Cahir Media)

This game was extremely close throughout and with Tipperary opting to play against the breeze in the opening half, Westmeath needed to make most of their progress by the interval. However some wayward shooting proved to be their undoing as Tipp were far more economical in the scoring zone.
The home side started the brighter, with Moloney notching the first three points of the game inside 15 minutes, the latter of those scores a brilliant solo effort from close range into the teeth of a gale to underline her side’s solid start. (Photo Credit: Anois Photography)

Westmeath were also creating chances, but the finishing of their forwards disappointed at times, and they had to wait until the 17th minute to register their first score, a pointed effort from a Leona Archibold free. 

Moloney extended the Tipp lead back out to three points a few minutes later from a free, but Westmeath finished the half strongly, with Vicky Carr finishing off an excellent team move in the 27th minute, before Westmeath were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time and Archibold hit the net from the spot to give her side a slender one-point lead at the break, 1-2 to 0-4.

(Photo Credit: Anois Photography)

Tipperary would have been happy with their lot after playing against the elements in the first half, and they equalised soon after the resumption through the boot of Emer McCarthy as they looked to push on with the wind at their backs.
But Westmeath really dug in for the battle as Moloney and Archibold notched two placed balls each in the opening 15 minutes of the half, with both teams tackling ferociously while conditions deteriorated rapidly.

However, as she has done frequently in the past for Tipperary, Moloney raised her game and made the difference, landing two efforts from frees and a fantastic solo strike to give Tipp a three-point lead with two minutes to go. See Aisling's last free of the game 

(Photo Credit: Anois Photography)

And despite scores from Vicky Carr and Archibold for Westmeath, Tipp managed to hold out for what could be a priceless win come the end of the league campaign.

Listen to Aisling Moloneys thoughts after the game.

Scorers – Tipperary: A Moloney 0-10 (8f), E McCarthy 0-1. Westmeath: L Archibold 1-3 (1-0pen, 3f), V Carr 0-2, Annie Dolan 0-1

Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; E Moore, L Spillane, E Cronin; M Curley, B Condon, S Lambert; L Dillon, C Kennedy; N Hayes, E Morrissey, R Daly; A Carey, A Moloney, A Fennessy. Subs: S Dolan for Fennessy (21), E McCarthy for Daly (h-t), M Creedon for Dillon (41),A Delaney for Hayes (50), R Kiely for Carey (51).

Westmeath: L McCormack; R Dillon, S Dolan, L Power; G Halligan, F Claffey, A Jones; J A Maher, V Carr; K Hegarty, L Archibold, L McCartan; T Dillon, C Dillon, A Connolly. Subs: S McCormack for C Dillon (19), A Dolan for Maher (45).

Referee: K Phelan (Laois).

Round 4 - Tipperary v Waterford


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Round 5 - Tipperary v Galway


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Round 6 - Tipperary v Mayo


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Round 7


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