Donegal secured a good win over Kildare today to secure a place in the All-Ireland Quarter Finals v Cork on Saturday 25th August.
Two goals from Ciara D Shovlin as well as another good scoring display from Geraldine McLaughlin saw Donegal through.
Kildare started the stronger as they kicked four points inside the opening 8 minutes and Donegal were finding it hard to get the ball past the half forward line. On the 9 minute mark, Termon ace Geraldine McLaughlin pointed from play and followed it up with a free to leave it Donegal 0-2 Kildare 0-4.
Kildare had all the possession in the opening 15 minutes but were unable to split the posts on numerous occasions. Kildare played with a sweeper in front of Geraldine McLaughlin and it paid dividends as Donegal found it difficult to get Geraldine on the ball. However, captain Aoife McDonnell scored two points from play after driving forward from midfield to leave the minimum between the sides.
A goal in the 20th minute by Ardara girl Ciara D Shovlin put Donegal in front for the first time. An excellent diagonal ball by Karen Guthrie into the square and Ciara D netted it home to leave Donegal 1-5 Kildare 0-6. Roisin Friel overturned possession twice and resulted in setting McLaughlin up for 1-1. Half-time score Donegal 2-7 Kildare 0-8.
McLaughlin pointed the first score of the second half as Roisin Curran overturned possession in the full back line. Ciara D Shovlin was again in on the scoring act as she slotted home her second goal of the day to leave Donegal with a nine point cushion. Great defensive work by Aoife Watters in the full backline, in what was a near Kildare goal resulted in a point by sub Alannah McDonnell. But it was not all going to plan for Donegal as corner back Nicole McLaughlin was sinbinned after she was deemed to have deliberately fouled a Kildare player who was through for goal. Aoife McDonnell slotted home another point and with Roisin Curran cooly slotting over a point form a very tight angle off the left foot it left Donegal with a 10-point advantage. Kildare continued to run at the defence in the closing minutes in search of goals but with Kelly Wilson, Aoife Watters and Therese McCafferty continuing to dominate the play in the backs, Kildare were denied time and time again. Aoife McDonnell and Karen Guthrie put in player of the match performances in the midfield area. There were also good performances from Emer Gallagher, Ciara D Shovlin and Geraldine McLaughlin with Roisin Friel working hard to overturn ball an set up many scores.
Best wishes to Kate Keaney who had to retire before half-time due to an injury. Donegal will now face a tough assignment against Cork in the All-Ireland Quarter Final on Saturday 25th August but with Cork as clear favourites, the Donegal girls will go in happy as the underdogs.
DONEGAL TEAM - Niamh Mailey, Orlagh Carr, Kelly Wilson, Nicole McLaughlin, Aoife Watters, Breda McGinty, Therese McCafferty, Aoife McDonnell, Karen Guthrie, Kate Keaney, Roisin Friel, Emer Gallagher, Roisin Curran, Geraldine McLaughlin and Ciara D Shovlin. Subs., Tara Khan for McGinty; Alannah McDonnell for Keaney; Rose Boyle for Shovlin.