Donegal Ladies put celebration on hold to prepare for Mayo on Sunday

Donegal Ladies put celebration on hold to prepare for Mayo on Sunday

Donegal have little time for celebration following last Saturday night’s fantastic victory over All-Ireland champions Dublin in Croke Park in the first round of the Lidl Ladies League.

Karen Guthrie scored a goal and four points in the 1-11 to 0-7 victory over the reigning All-Ireland champions. But for the Donegal skipper, who picked up the player of the match award, it is back down to business again this Sunday, when they host Mayo, in St Mary’s, Convoy 2 pm).

“It was a fantastic result and performance and not many people were expecting it, including ourselves,” said Karen Guthrie.

“We aimed at being competitive and everybody went out to win their own personal battles and hope for the best.

“There was no pressure from management; we were told to just go out and enjoy ourselves.The young players were brilliant and like a breath if fresh air.”

Evelyn McGinley, Megan Ryan, Cara Hegarty, Niamh Boyle and Aisling Nee made their debuts in what was a new look Donegal.

However, the captain insisted that while it was a brilliant win it was only a league game and that they have to get ready for Mayo this week.

Guthrie, Emer Gallagher, Treasa Doherty, Nicole McLaughlin, Niamh Hegarty, Katy Herron, Geraldine McLaughlin and Ciara Grant were the only members of last summer’s Ulster championship team that featured on Sunday.

“The experienced girls were brilliant, too, against Dublin but they also know it was only three league points and there is a long way to go.

“It was good to get the win but it only counts as three points and puts us in a good position with three home games to come in-a-row.”

Mayo got their league campaign off to a winning start with a five point win over Tipperary in Semple Stadium.

“Mayo are very like ourselves, they are a new look team too and they have brought in a number of younger players. They will be tough opponents as they always are and we are going to have to put in a another big performance.”

Donegal have no major injury worry and manager Maxi Curran expects to have a fully fit squad to select from when he sits down with his mentors.

This is a big game for Donegal now that the genie is out of the bottle and even though they are new look team with a lot of new faces.

The challenge is to park last weekend’s giantkilling act and to focus on Mayo.

The Donegal team is not expected to be finalised until later this week. But the odds are very much in favour of last Saturday evening’s starting team getting the nod again this Sunday.