Karen Guthrie of Donegal in action against Shauna Kelly of Cork during the Lidl Ladies Football National League Div 1 Final Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Donegal Ladies suffered a heartbreaking one point defeat in their Lidl Ladies League Division one final in Parnell Park
Donegal . . . . . . . . . . . 2-14
Cork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-15
Donegal will look back on this game with plenty to ponder as they had their chances, especially in the second half, and a number of bad wides at a vital stage was crucial in the final scoreline.
They recovered from a poor opening with Orla Finn goaling for Cork after 20 seconds and then adding a point.
Geraldine McLaughlin had a goal chance blocked before getting Donegal's opening point, but then they lost Kate Keaney to a knee injury, replaced by Deirdre Foley.
But thanks to points from Geraldine McLaughlin (2) and Katy Herron they settled and were matching Cork score for score before McLaughlin struck for goal on 17 minutes to tie up the game at 1-5 each.
Karen Guthrie edged Donegal ahead but Cork equalised before a Scally goal for Cork had the Leesiders back in front.
Donegal finished the half well with Geraldine McLaughlin pointing after a good run from Shannon McGroddy and Yvonne McMonagle was on hand to fire over after a McLaughlin free came back off the post.
Half-time: Donegal 1-9, Cork 2-8.
Paula McGroary came in for Roisin Friel at the break and Donegal had a goal chance within 20 seconds but Geraldine McLaughlin was crowded out. But a Karen Guthrie free was followed by a great goal by Niamh Hegarty and Donegal were 2-10 to 2-8 ahead.
Cork responded but another Guthrie free kept Donegal two ahead. But then Cork had a purple patch with three points to edge ahead, but again Niamh Hegarty replied after a great run by Katy Herron.
Orla Finn edged Cork ahead but Donegal had four bad wides in-a-row before substitute Eilish Ward leveled again at 2-13 each.
Two more Finn frees pushed Cork two clear and Donegal could only manage one Karen Guthrie free in reply, as they lost Yvonne McMonagle to the sin bin and Katy Herron to a red card in the final minutes.
It was a really disappointing finish as Donegal had held their own throughout the game. Those misses in the final quarter were the only difference between the sides.
CORK: M O’Brien, M Ambrose, R Phelan, E Spillane; M Duggan, B Stack, S Kelly; N Cotter (0-1), J O’Shea; L Coppinger (0-1), B O’Sullivan (0-2), O Farmer; E Scally (1-1), D O’Sullivan, O Finn (1-10, 9f). Subs: A Hutchings for Coppinger (53), Á O’Sullivan for Farmer (56).
DONEGAL: Aoife McColgan; Terese Doherty, Emer Gallagher, Nicole McLaughlin; Teresa McClafferty, Ciara Hegarty, Kate Keaney; Katy Herron (0-1), Karen Guthrie (0-4,3f); Grainne Houston, Niamh Hegarty (1-1), Shannon McGruddy; Roisin Friel, Geraldine McLaughlin (1-4,1f), Yvonne McMonagle (0-3). Subs: Deirdre Foley for Keeney (injury, 7), Paula McGrory for Friel (h.t.), Eilish Ward (0-1) for McGruddy (46).
REFEREE: C McManus (Meath)