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Saffs to face familiar foe Fermanagh in National League opener

29th November 2022


Antrim will start their 2023 Lidl National League Division 4A campaign on 5th February at home to Fermanagh, the team they defeated in August to clinch the All-Ireland Junior Championship followed by a trip to Ruislip to face London at McGovern Park on 19th February with the visit of Carlow to Belfast on 5th March before the top two teams will progress to the semi-final stage to face their counterparts from Division 4B.

Antrim and Fermanagh squared off five times in 2022 with the Saffrons taking the victory on three occasions, the most notable encounters being the drawn Croke Park Junior Championship final and subsequent replay in Armagh a fortnight later where Emma Kelly’s side took the county’s third All Ireland Junior title.

It’s some time since Antrim last faced off against London, with the pair’s last meeting coming in the 2018 Championship when the Exiles inflicted a 3-13 to 2-14 defeat on the hosts at Musgrave Park.

Antrim are well acquainted with Carlow, facing them last in the 2022 Championship semi-final with a stunning victory for the Saffrons in Dunleer, a win which sealed a second consecutive Croke Park appearance for the Ulsterwomen.

Saffrons boss Emma Kelly said “We’re disappointed that Division 4 has been split into two groups when the others haven’t but we will focus on our games. It’s basically thrown us into championship mode straight away as any loss of points will be costly. We have two huge home games and travel to London. Our goal, like everyone’s, is to get out of Division 4 so we will push on and focus on that.”

Precise throw-in times and venues are yet to be determined for all fixtures but will be announced in due course.

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