THE Cork team that starts Saturday’s Lidl NFL Division 1 opener against Westmeath at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (4pm) includes eight survivors from the team that landed the 2019 crown against Galway at Parnell Park.
Goalkeeper Martina O’Brien, Hannah Looney, Melissa Duggan, Maire O’Callaghan, Shauna Kelly, Aisling Hutchings, Orlagh Farmer and All-Star forward Orla Finn all named to start, as league champions Cork get the chance to play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the very first time.
Cork have been boosted significantly by the return of Roisin Phelan to their starting line-up, after the former All-Ireland winner and All Star missed the 2019 season due to work commitments in Dublin.
Westmeath will be captained by Fiona Claffey for the trip to Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Lake County know that they will have to battle hard to remain in the top flight, after suffering relegation to the Intermediate Championship ranks for 2020.
Cork (v Westmeath): M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, C O’Callaghan; S Kelly, A Hutchings, M Duggan; M O’Callaghan, H Looney; L Cleary, B O’Sullivan, O Farmer; S O’Leary, Á O’Sullivan, O Finn.
Westmeath (v Cork): L McCormack; R Dillon; K McDermott, L Power; F Coyle, F Claffey, A Roche; J Maher, V Carr; A Jones, L Archibold, L McCartan; J Draper, S McCormack, A Dolan.