Donegal ladies seek win in Laois

This Sunday it is the turn of the Donegal ladies and their Laois counterparts who go head to head in the Bord Gais Ladies National Football League.

This Sunday it is the turn of the Donegal ladies and their Laois counterparts who go head to head in the Bord Gais Ladies National Football League.

The game is in Mountmellick (2pm) and is Donegal’s second weekend in-a-row on the road.

And following their five point victory over Kildare last Sunday, Donegal will be anxious to pick up three more points against the girls from the O’Moore county.

However, Donegal manager Micheal Naughton accepts that his charges will have to step up their performance a notch or two if they are to take another brace of points this weekend.

“Laois are one of the top teams in the league. It is generally accepted that Cork, Dublin, Laois and Monaghan are the top four and then you have ourselves and Meath and possibly Tyrone, so we are fully aware of the challenge that faces us,” said Naughton.

“They have lost one game already, their first game away to Meath, but bounced back well last Sunday at home to Tyrone and they will be going all out not to drop any more points and I have no doubt will target us for the three points.”

Donegal won the corresponding game last year in Ballyshannon but the team has changed considerably in the intervening 12 months.

However with Theresa Doherty and Deirdre Foley available again this weekend after missing the Kildare game, Naughton will have his strongest squad available to him to date in the competition.

However, he is going to have to find a replacement for goalkeeper Laura Gallagher, who is not able to travel due to family commitments.

“We are going all out to take the points. Confidence is high after last Sunday and while I accept that Laois will pose a stiffer challenge with the way the girls are improving with every outing we can step it up again this weekend.”

A victory on Sunday and with four homes game to come - Monaghan, Dublin, Tyrone and Meath - would set Donegal up nicely for their target of a place in the last four and the knock-out stages.

A defeat would not be the end of the world either because with all their remaining games on home soil a place in the semi-final should well be within their grasp.

Given last Sunday’s performance and 4-11 to 3-9 win over Kildare, changes are expected to be at a minimum when Naughton unveils his starting selection on Sunday. The fact too that Donegal clipped their wings last year means Laois will not take the Tir Chonaill girls lightly and will be going all out to avenge that defeat. At home they will be favourites to take the points, but with Geraldine McLaughlin in scoring from, and with Eilish Ward not too far behind her, a Donegal win is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Donegal are travelling down and Saturday afternoon and staying on Saturday night in Portlaoise.