Donegal Ladies through to Ulster semi-final but made fight all the way by Tyrone

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell


Donegal Ladies through to Ulster final but made fight all the way by Tyrone

Geraldine McLaughlin kicks for a point for Donegal Picture: Thomas Gallagher

Donegal are through to the TG4 Ulster Ladies championship semi-final after a hard-fought victory over Tyrone in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Donegal 3-13
Tyrone 2-12
In a very good game of football Donegal availed of some poor kick-outs by Tyrone to make the difference. Geraldine McLaughlin and Karen Guthrie punished for Donegal, while Aoife McColgan was a Donegal hero between the posts.
Tyrone never gave up and a great goal in the final five minutes meant there was just a goal in it. Donegal, at times, made hard work of it, but overall know that they have plenty of room for improvement in the final.
The opening quarter was very evenly contested with both sides looking good on the attack.
Donegal were two points up inside three minutes through Geraldine McLaughlin from a free and then McLaughlin released Amy Boyle Carr for the second.
But Tyrone, after having problems with their kick-out, hit back with a very good move finished by Niamh O'Neill.
Donegal got a third point when Karen Guthrie worked a one-two off a free and fired over but Marie Canavan cancelled that with a free at the other end.
Guthrie fired over a free but her counterpart, Tyrone captain Neamh Woods responded. It was point for point. Geraldine McLaughlin and Canvan trading frees before Kate Keaney went for goal but her effort was brilliantly deflected over.
Niamh Hughes cut the deficit to one again on 17 minutes but then Donegal struck for the first oal. Karen Gurhrie found Niamh Hegarty in the corner. The Moville girl turned quickly and found Geraldine McLaughlin who lashed home with her left.
McLaughlin tried to chip the 'keeper when she fielded the kick-out, but it fell short. Maria Canavan cut the deficit to three and Donegal needed a top class save from Aoife McColgan to deny Niamh O'Neill to stay three ahead.
The Donegal defence were under pressure and O'Neill was almost in again on 26 minutes but her effort went just wide of the posts.
Meabh Mallon cut the deficit to two but then disaster struck for Tyrone when Geraldine McLaughlin intercepted a pass in front of the Tyrone posts. McLaughlin found Niamh Hegarty all alone inside and she fired home the second goal.
Maria Canavan hit a free but then missed another with the last kick of the first half.
Half-time: Donegal 2-6, Tyrone 0-8
Donegal had a whirlwind start to the second half hitting 1-2 before Tyrone got a score. Karen Guthrie and half-time substitute Roisin 'Yankee' Friel had points before another poor kick-out led to Geraldine McLaughlin being fouled and from the penalty McLaughlin found the corner.
Maria Canavan hit back with two points, one from a free and a mighty score from play, but they lost corner back Caoileann Conway to a yellow card.
But Tyrone came again and after good play Aoibheann McHugh was through on goal. Aoife McColgan made a great point blank stop but somehow Donegal didn't clear and McHugh wrestled back possession only to be fouled. From the penalty Maria Canavan found the corner to reduce the leeway to 3-9 to 1-10 with 43 minutes on the clock.
Karen Guthrie stretched the lead to six with one from play and a free but Maria Canavan hit the point of the game in reply. Donegal lost Shannon McGroddy to a yellow after a high tackle on 48 minutes as Canavan cut the lead to four with ten minutes left.
Geraldine McLaughlin won and pointed a free and then the Tyrone 'keeper delayed too long on the kick-out and McLaughlin tapped over another.
But Tyrone were back in the contest when centre-half-back Niamh McGirr came forward to hit a great goal and cut the deficit to three.
Karen Guthrie missed a free with time almost up and Geraldine McLaughlin repeated the act 30 seconds later but Guthrie made amends from play. There should have been a fourth goal as the Tyrone 'keeper messed up another kick-out and Roisin Friel somehow managed to put it wide from right in front.

Scorers: Donegal: Geraldine McLaughlin 2-4,pen,4f; Karen Guthrie 0-6,3f; Niamh Hegarty 1-0; Kate Keaney, Amy Boyle Carr, Roisin Friel 0-1 each.
Tyrone: Maria Canavan 1-7, pen, 6f; Niamh McGirr 1-0; Neamh Woods, Niamh Hughes, Niamh O'Neill 0-1 each.
DONEGAL: Aoife McColgan; Anna Marie McGlynn, Emer Gallagher, Roisin Rogers; Niamh Carr, Nicole McLaughlin, Treasa Doherty; Katy Herron, Evelyn McGinley; Karen Guthrie, Kate Keaney, Amy Boyle Carr; Niamh Hegarty, Geraldine McLaughlin, Shannon McGroddy.
Subs: Shannon McLaughlin for Rogers; Roisin Friel for Niamh Hegarty, both ht;

TYRONE: Shannon Lynch; Christiane Hunter, Joanne Barrett, Caoileann Conway; Slaine McCarroll, Niamh McGirr, Emma Brennan; Emma Jane Gervin, Neamh Woods; Niamh Hughes, Maria Canavan, Aoibhinn McHugh; Niamh O'Neill, Meabh Mallon, Caitlin Kelly.
Subs: Dearbhaile Gallagher for C Kelly 45; Tori McLaughlin for McCarroll 54; Sasha Byrne for A McHugh 59

REFEREE: Brendan Rice (Down)