Donegal come back from the dead to book Ulster Final spot

Battling Donegal fight back to beat Armagh

Tom Comack


Tom Comack


Donegal beat Armagh

Donegal's Geraldine McLaughlin attacks the Armagh defence during the ladies TG4 Ulster semi-final in Greencastle on Saturday evening. Photo Thomas Gallgher INDD 1206 Donegal v ArnaghTG1

In a thrilling TG4 Ulster Ladies Senior semi-final, Donegal staged a magnificent comeback to get the better of Armagh in Greencastle on Saturday night.

Donegal . . . 1-14

Armagh . . . 1-10

Micheál Naughton's side won by four points at the finish, but they trailed right up until the closing stages.

Amazingly, Donegal failed to register a single score in the first half and at half-time, they were behind 1-8 to 0-0.

But it all came good after the restart and once again, Geraldine McLaughlin guided Donegal to victory. The Termon woman scored 1-7 in another masterful display.

Micheál Naughton’s side might have been playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, but they didn’t expect to be over-run by an Armagh side who were clinical in front of goal.

Armagh's goal was the opening score of the game, coming after only three minutes from Aimee Mackin.

The Armagh forward hit 1-3 in that first half while Lauren McConville sent over two long range points as Donegal struggled to impose themselves.

Armagh had Catherine Marley sin-binned and as tempers flared, Donegal manager Naughton was sent from the side-line by match referee Gavin Corrigan.

Donegal’s Geraldine McLaughlin and Yvonne McMonagle found themselves tightly marked in the first half as Armagh’s ploy of defending in numbers and hitting Donegal on the break worked a treat.

Karen Guthrie had a half chance of a Donegal goal but she shot across goal. She also missed two close-in frees, although the strong wind made free-taking extremely difficult.

Donegal were 11 points down going into the second half but McLaughlin struck for her goal shortly after the restart and three quick-fire points followed to get Donegal up and running.

Aoife McCoy put Armagh 1-9 to 1-3 in front with a well taken point but by the 22nd minute of the second half, Donegal had got themselves level with McLaughlin, Karen Guthrie and Treasa Doherty among their scorers.

Eilis Ward put Donegal in front only for Caroline O'Hanlon to draw Armagh level going into the dying minutes.

However, Donegal finished the stronger and points from Guthrie, Aoife McDonnell and McLaughlin saw them over the finish line.

They will now meet either Cavan or Monaghan in the Ulster Final. 

Donegal: Denise McElhinney; Treasa Doherty (0-1), Emer Gallagher, Nicole McLaughlin; Therese McCafferty, Ciara Hegarty, Aoife McDonnell (0-1); Katy Herron (0-1), Karen Guthrie (0-2, 1f); Grainne Houston, Niamh Hegarty, Eilis Ward (0-2); Roisin Friel, Geraldine McLaughlin (1-7, 4f), Yvonne McMonagle. Sub: Paula McGroary for G Houston.

Armagh: Caroline O’Hehir; Megan Sheridan, Clodagh McCambridge, Sarah Farrelly; Marian McGuinness, Sharon Reel, Tierna Grimes; Caroline O’Hanlon (0-1, f), Catherine Marley; Fionnuala McKenna (0-2, 2f), Aoife McCoy (0-2), Aimee Mackin (1-3); Lauren McConville (0-2), Blaithin Mackin, Niamh Marley.

Subs: Mairead Tennyson for C Marley, Kathy Mallon for B Mackin, Colleen McKenna for N Marley, Niamh Friel for F McKenna.

Referee: Gavin Corrigan.