Donegal are back in action again this Sunday when they host Tyrone in Castlefin, in the Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League.
After last weekend’s good performance, albeit a six-point defeat at the hands of the all conquering Cork, Margaret Foy and her team will be in upbeat mood.
The Rebelettes may have always had the look of winners about them despite being headed at one stage in the first half, but Donegal showed that when it came to football the All-Ireland and League champions had nothing on them.
Ciara Hegarty, Kate Keaney, Karen Guthrie, Geraldine McLaughlin, Aisling Cunningham, Niamh Carr and Katie Herron were more than a match for their opposite numbers.
“Last Sunday’s performance was very positive and the girls, though disappointed at having lost, were upbeat afterwards and we already looking forward to the Tyrone game,” Donegal manager Margaret Foy, told the Democrat this week.
“The improvement in the performance from the previous week against Laois was very noticeable. We were much sharper, fitter and finished much stronger than we had done in Laois.
“The previous week, the girls were out on their feet with 15 minutes to go. On Sunday against Cork, we only flagged in the last few minutes.
“It is matter now of continuing to work on the fitness and getting to believe they are as good as they are and should fear no one.
“Sunday’s performance against Cork went a long way to convince them that they are as good as any of the other teams in the division.”
Sunday’s game is a real six pointer for Donegal and Tyrone, as both sides are pointless after two games.
Tyrone went down to Kerry, by ten points, away from home and suffered a heavy 5-17 to 0-4 defeat to Mayo last Sunday in Healy Park.
“We are not reading much into Tyrone’s results. We are concentrating on getting ourselves right and building on the performance against Cork and if we can repeat that display we are confident that they result will go right for us.”
Foy is planning this week to be without Ciara Hegarty for Sunday’s encounter. The Moville woman is at college in Dublin, and is unavailable.
Her absence is a setback as Hegarty turned in a big performance at midfield against Cork alongside Kate Keaney.
However, on the good news front, Roisin Friel has resumed full fitness and is back in the squad. The manager is also holding out hope of having goalkeeper Niamh Mailey, who spent a couple of hours in Letterkenny General Hospital after receiving a blow to the head in last Sunday’s game.
“Niamh should be fine. She was released from hospital again on Sunday evening and while she was a little sore, she should be fine. We are monitoring her during the week, before we decide on her fitness.
In the absence of Ciara Hegarty, wing forward Karen Guthrie and full-forward Aisling Cunningham – who scored the two goals against Cork – are the options to join Kate Keaney in midfield.
In the event of either Guthrie or Cunningham filling the midfield void, Lucy Murphy, who impressed when introduced in the second half last weekend, would appear favourite to fill the vacancy in attack.
Given last week’s display other than filling the gap left by Ciara Hegarty, the starting 15 is not expected to differ greatly from that which started against Cork.