Donegal Ladies take on fancied Dubs

Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal and Dublin go head to head again this Saturday, this time, in the Ladies Senior Football Championship quarter-final, in Pearse Park, Longford. (5 pm)

Just like last in weekend’s last eight meeting in the race for the Sam Maguire Cup, Donegal are very much the underdogs.

Dublin, the five in-a-row Leinster champions, are also last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists and are fancied to be the biggest threat again this season to Cork’s dominance of the championship.

They ran Cork to two points, 0-12 to 0-10, in last year’s All-Ireland final.

“We face a huge challenge in Dublin on Saturday but we will take a lot out of our win over Galway the last day,” insisted Donegal manager, Micheál Naughton.

Donegal, who surrendered their Ulster crown first day out to Cavan, defeated Galway in the All-Ireland qualifier to set up Saturday’s showdown with the Dubs.

Donegal defeated Galway, 3-15 to 4-11, in the qualifier in Longford, the venue for Saturday’s game.

Former All-Star Yvonne McMonagle scored 1-8 - which included an injury time winner from a free - and Amber Barrett hit 2-3 as Donegal pulled off a shock win against the beaten Connacht finalists.

“The Galway win was a huge win for us and especially in the manner in which we won it after allowing them back into the game after we led by four points with only a few minutes to full-time.

“We showed great character to work the ball up the field and win the free in the dying seconds after Galway drew level and Yvonne kicked a super point to win it.

“It was some achievement given that so many players were missing against a fancied Galway outfit.

“We are going to have to play very well and we are going to have to tighten up at the back.

“If we give Dublin the same space and freedom we will have no chance. We are going to have to keep it tight at the back and if we do I honestly believe we have a great chance of advancing to the All-Ireland semi-final.”

Dublin defeated Westmeath 4-23 to 0-7 in last month’s Leinster final.

They have four current All-Stars - Sinead Finnegan and Sinead Goldrick in the half-back line, Carla Rowe in the half-forward line and Lyndsey Davey at full-forward.

Micheal Naughton has reported no major injuries but would not comment on whether goal scoring ace Geraldine McLaughlin and her sister Nicole are in the squad for Saturday’s game.

The McLaughlin sisters returned from New York last weekend after helping Donegal/Kerry/New York win the New York championship.

They trained with Donegal on Monday night and are expected to be in the match day squad at least.