BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DONEGAL’S senior ladies football team will play SIX of their seven 2013 National Football League Division 1 games away from home – but the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) has said that they are merely ‘unfortunate’ at the way the fixtures have panned out.
Hughie Molloy’s girls open their campaign on Sunday February 3rd with a home game against Laois – but all of their remaining six games will be played away.
That means trips to face Dublin, Mayo, Monaghan, Meath, Tyrone and Cork, with a financial strain added to what is a taxing fixture schedule for the team.
However, the fixtures department of the LGFA has explained the issue.
“The fixtures are done on the basis that if you’re home to a team one year you are away to that team the following year,” a spokesman told the Donegal News.
“It’s unfortunate for Donegal that they’ll have so many away games in 2013, but that said they had five games at home in the 2012 campaign. Donegal got a benefit from it in 2012 and they will again in 2014 if they don’t be relegated.
“It’s a little unfortunate, but Donegal did get unquestionable benefit from it this year. Clare were in a similar situation with playing games away in 2012.”
Kildare were relegated from Division 1 in 2012 and Donegal would have been due to face the Lilywhites at home in 2013. Mayo have come up from Division 2 and they have home advantage over Donegal as the last meeting of the teams was in Donegal.
The news came just a week after Hughie Molloy was ratified as the new senior ladies manager last Monday.
“It’s unreal,” was the response of the Glenties man this week to the news.
“This is the way it is, I’m told, and while it’s very unfair there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it.
“We’ll be away week-after-week and we’ll be traveling all the time. It’s a really demanding schedule.”
Play-off and Relegation matches will take place over the weekend of April 13/14th with semi-finals on April 28th and the Final on May 11th.
3rd February Donegal v Laois
10th February Dublin v Donegal
17th February Mayo v Donegal
3rd March Monaghan v Donegal
24th March Meath v Donegal
31st March Tyrone v Donegal
6th April Cork v Donegal