Tom Comack email@example.com @dgldemocrat
Donegal are bidding for a place in an historic first ever Ladies National Football League Division One final when they face Galway on Sunday in Markievicz Park, Sligo. (Throw-in 2 pm)
Donegal topped the Lidl Ladies Division One table at the end of the league series of games and as a consequence qualified to meet Galway, the fourth team in the table.
Cork, who were second, go head to head with old rivals Dublin in the other semi-final. That game is in Nowlan Park on Saturday.
Donegal have been the form team in the league. They won five of their seven games including their last three.
In those game they defeated reigning champions Cork (away) and Monaghan and Mayo, both at home.
“It has been a very good league for us so far and we finished very strong with those wins over Cork, Monaghan and Mayo,” said Donegal manager Micheál Naughton.
“But those wins over those big teams will count for nothing if we’re not looking forward to a first ever Division One League final on Sunday evening.”
Donegal have beaten Galway already in the league. Just one point separated the sides at the end of an evenly contested encounter played in Tuam.
Donegal won that second round tie 2-10 to 1-12, with sharpshooter Geraldine McLaughlin hitting two late points.
“Realistically that game could have gone either way and there was nothing between the teams throughout. In fact we stole it at the finish when Geraldine McLaughlin nailed a couple of late points to seal the win.
“Galway will be a different proposition on Sunday. It was only their second game under a new manager and they have got a number of good results since that game.”
Yvonne McMonagle, who only returned from Australia following the Galway game, Geraldine McLaughlin, Niamh Hegarty and Eilish Ward have really been buzzing up front for Donegal.
This is reflected in the number of big winning margins and their ability to plunder goals. They have scored 21 goals in their seven games.
“Galway are going to be a stiff test but if we get a performance that we are capable of producing we will be hard to stop.
“Confidence is very high after the wins over Cork, Monaghan and Mayo. They are big teams and those wins have really given the confidence that on their day they are capable beating the best.”
Karen Guthrie and Katy Herron have played well in the middle of the field and Emer Gallagher, Nicole McLaughlin and Ciara Hegarty have been rock solid in defence throughout the campaign.
And Aoife McColgan, who has replaced Laura Gallagher in the number one shirt, has turned in a number of big performances in goals.
Katy Herron, who missed the Mayo game with a back injury, is Donegal’s only injury concern. However, the manager is fairly confident that the Glenfin woman will be ready for Sunday’s shootout in Sligo.