Friday 24 May 2019

Maxwell relief as Westmeath retain place at top table

Westmeath ladies manager Stephen Maxwell. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Westmeath ladies manager Stephen Maxwell. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Emma duffy

Westmeath boss Stephen Maxwell expressed his relief as the Lake county survived in Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies NFL while Kerry suffered relegation to the second tier.

"It is a weight off of our shoulders," said Maxwell after the crucial bottom-of-the-table tie against the Kingdom in Tralee.

"We made hard work of it this year. We had some massive performances and left the final result behind us.

"We should have beaten Dublin, we could possibly have beaten Mayo but at the end of the day we are in Division 1 next year and that's where everyone wants to be."

Westmeath showed great hunger with Fiona Claffey hitting the all-important goal before half-time as they went on to win 1-12 to 1-6.

Cork's dream of six-in-a-row lives on as the Rebelettes defeated Galway in Clonberne.

All is not lost for the Tribeswomen yet though with two last-four slots still up for grabs between themselves, Mayo and Donegal.

Mick Bohan's Dublin bounced back to winning ways as they fired five goals past Monaghan in a 19-point drubbing, 5-15 to 0-11, in Clones. Nicole Owens, Niamh McEvoy, Sinead Aherne, Lyndsey Davey and Rebecca McDonnell all raised green flags for the Sky Blues.

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And in Saturday's sole Division 1 fixture, 2017 All-Ireland finalists Mayo came out on top by five points, 5-14 to 4-12, as they hosted Donegal in a high-scoring thriller.

In Division 2, the situation is similar with two semi-final spots to be filled next weekend. Tipperary and Waterford both sealed their progression, with Cavan, Tyrone and Armagh set to do battle for the remaining places.

Tipperary maintained their 100pc record as they capped a difficult few days following the death of former player Rachel Kenneally with a win over Clare.

There were also wins for Waterford, Cavan and Tyrone as the latter two prepare for a massive showdown in the final round.

The top four slots in Division 3 are decided while Leitrim have been relegated. Wexford, Meath, Down and Kildare have all sealed their spots, with the Lilywhites edging Roscommon out of contention.

In Division 4, Wicklow maintained their 100pc record with a win over Louth.

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