Donegal Ladies picked up their first win of their Tesco Ireland Ladies National Football League Division One campaign with a six point victory over Dublin, in Dublin, yesterday.
Ace forward Geraldine McLaughlin found her scoring form as she hit three goals as Donegal bounced back from last week’s seven point defeat to Laois in Bundoran.
McLaughlin’s three goals all came in the first half as Donegal recovered from a slow start after conceding an early goal and two points to go in 3-4 to 2-4 in front at half-time.
Lorraine Molloy, Niamh McLaughlin, Eilish Ward and McLaughlin scored the first half points for the winners.
“We bossed the game really from the moment Geraldine struck the first of the goals. Dublin had started well and scored a goal and two points to our one in the opening ten minutes,” said Donegal manager Hugh Molloy.
“But Geraldine’s goals really rattled them and while they scored a second before half-time we were in front by three points at the break and in a good position.”
With the rain pouring down Donegal adopted better to the conditions to out score the Metropolitans by six points to three in the second half to run out convincing and deserving winners and pick up three valuable league points.
McLaughlin, Karen Gutrie, Ward, Molloy, Rosin Friel and Deirdre Foley all found the target in the second period.
“We didn’t score any more goals, but we kicked some great points in the second half and were much the better team.
“All the girls played very well and worked really hard; that includes the three girls that we introduced. It was a very good all round team performance and it is a great win and three great points.
“It really sets us up for Mayo next weekend. The girls were a little rusty last weekend against Laois, but they really improved today and stepped up their performance all round.
“They felt they should have done better last week and taken something out of the game. But they took a lot from last week’s game and this result will bring them on another rung or two and will give them even more belief in themselves.”
Donegal showed three changes from the side that lost to Laois. Niamh Friel replaced Kelly Wilson at corner back, Aisling Cuningham partnered Karen Guthrie at midfield with Ciara Hegarty moving to the half-back line in place of Emer Gallagher. In the one other alteration Shanon McGroddy replaced Amber Barrett in the attack.
Donegal: Roisin McCafferty; Orla Carr, Nicole McLaughlin, Niamh Friel; Therese McCafferty, Ciaran Hegarty, Deirdre Foley (0-1); Karen Gurhrie (0-1), Aisling Cunningham; Roisin Friel (0-1), Niamh Hegarty (0-1), Loraine Molloy (0-2); Shannon McGroddy, Geraldine McLaughlin (3-2), Eilish Ward (0-2). Subs: Anita Doherty, Alannah McDonnel, Karen Feeney.
Dublin: Emma Merrigan; Rachel Byrne, Sinead Goldrick, Leah Caffrey; Natalia Hyland, Sinead Finnegan, Niamh Keane; Amy McGuinness, Noelle Healy; Ciara Ruddy, Lyndsay Davey, Siobhan Woods; Sinead Aherne, Denise McKenna, Elaine Kelly.
Referee: James Flood.