Donegal Ladies - the history-makers after reaching Division One League final

Micheál Naughton's team get set for first ever Division One final

Donegal Ladies - the history-makers after reaching Division One League final

Donegal's lady Gaelic footballers keep re-writing the history books, and they were at again on Sunday last in Sligo.

Appearing in their first Division One Ladies National Football League semi-final, they put Galway to the sword, and in some style, in Markievicz Park.

In a dazzling display of football they defeated the ladies from the county of the Tribes by a whopping 16 points, 5-11 to 1-7.

Geraldine McLaughlin, the team captain, led by example and scored an amazing 4-4. Her partner upfront Yvonne McMonagle, posted 1-4 with Karen Guthrie, Grainne Houston and Roisin Friel, scoring the other three points.

“It was a big win and great result,” said Donegal manager Micheál Naughton this week.

“There was very little between the teams in the first half. We had Katy Herron sin-binned before half-time and then Galway scored a goal shortly after half-time

“But even though we were down to 14, the girls responded well and reeled off three quick points and when Katy came back on we pulled away and won well.

“It was a brilliant performance from the girls and the team as a whole. Everyone of the 15 players who started and the four subs who came on played their part in the win.

“And it has been the same all through the league. It’s the squad of players and the strength in depth that has us where we are.”

Donegal won Division Two last season and having been promoted, they’re now forward to a Division One final.

“The goal at the start of the year was to retain our status and to build on that for next year,” Naughton said.

“They are the first Donegal team to qualify for a Division One League semi-final and now after last Sunday, they are the first Donegal team to reach a Division One final.

“And if we win on Sunday week, obviously we will be the first Donegal team to win a Division One League title.

“The girls have been brilliant. There are no easy games in the division. They have worked extremely hard since we got together last November and they have had a few lucky breaks along the way in games. But no more than they deserved.

“They are a very talented group of players but also very dedicated and committed to doing well.”

Donegal now face the five-in-a-row league winners Cork who have played in the last ten Division One finals and have won nine of them.

Donegal have beaten the Leesiders already in the league series of games. They won that game down in

Cork, 3-16 to 0-12.

In fairness, it was Cork’s final league game and they had already booked their place in the semi-final and fielded a team short a good number of their regulars.

“Cork are the benchmark,” Naughton added.

“They have been the top team in the country for they have played in the last ten league finals and won nine of them.

“They have won the last 11 senior championships. They have a serious team but we are looking forward to the challenge they present.

“We are also confident that if we continue to play as we have been doing, we will give them a run for their money.

“And if we are lucky enough to win we will be the first team to come straight up from Division Two, to win the Division One League the first year they were promoted.”

Armagh, Galway, Cork, Monaghan and Mayo were the other teams Donegal defeated on their way to topping the Division One table.

Their only defeats were away to Dublin and Kerry.