Video: Tir Chonaill star Geraldine McLaughlin to the 4-4 in rout
EADLY duo Geraldine McLaughlin and Yvonne McMonagle combined for 5-8 of Donegal’s total in their 5-11 to 1-7 demolition of Galway in yesterday’s Lidl NFL Division One semi-final at Markievicz Park.
Captain and full-forward McLaughlin hit 4-4 as Donegal booked their spot in the final against holders Cork in a fortnight.
Michéal Naughton’s side led from start to finish in this highly entertaining encounter.
McLaughlin had 1-1 on the board early on, registering the game’s first score from the penalty spot. Galway did settle with two points from Roisin Leonard and Noelle Connolly but Donegal kept their noses in front and led 1-3 to 0-3 by the 25th minute and McMonagle’s first point with half-time looming gave her side a 1-4 to 0-3 advantage at the break.
Galway roared out of the blocks at the beginning of the second half with a goal from Leonard and they were right back into it with Donegal’s lead cut back to the minimum. However, despite being a player down with Katy Herron having been sent to the sin bin in first half injury-time,
Donegal quickly cancelled out that Galway major and they reeled off four points in a row through two McLaughlin frees and one apiece from McMonagle and Roisin Friel to make it 1-8 to 1-3 to the Ulster side.
Tracey Leonard and McLaughlin exchanged points to maintain Donegal’s five-point lead and when McMonagle found the net with a deft flick of a long ball in from the returning Herron in the 40th minute to increase that advantage to eight, Donegal were in control of their own destiny.
They did not relent and McLaughlin soon completed her hat-trick to make it 4-9 to 1-7. McLaughlin and Donegal were not done and the number 14 added a fourth goal – her second from the penalty spot – as McMonagle rounded off a superb victory with two points as the scoreboard read 5-11 to 1-7 while Galway’s woes were further compounded with Aine McDonagh red-carded late on.
On Saturday, Cork inflicted yet another defeat on Dublin with a semi-final 1-16 to 0-13 win over the Jackies at Nowlan Park.
CAVAN set up a Division Two final meeting with Westmeath next month after a 3-16 to 0-11 rout of Clare in Birr yesterday. Cavan led 0-3 to no-score early one as Clare took until the 10th minute to get off the mark, but by the 18th minute the Cavan lead was down to just one, 0-5 to 0-4.
However, four unanswered points from the 23rd minute helped Aidan McCabe’s side go in at half-time 0-10 to 0-6 ahead. Clare’s Niamh O’Dea got a point within the first 30 seconds of the restart, but straight away Cavan had the ball in the net from Aishling Sheridan to increase their lead to six, 1-10 to 0-7.
That soon became an eight-point advantage with further points from Claragh O’Reilly and Sinead Greene, but Clare persevered and hit three unanswered ones of their own to reduce the deficit to five. However, Cavan upped the ante again and reeled off three of their own through Sheridan, Cathriona Smith and Aisling Doonan to lead 1-15 to 0-10 by the 51st minute.
Cavan had Sinead Green sin binned in the 54th minute but the numerical disadvantage took nothing out of them as O’Reilly and substitute Beth FarrellyMcGee added further goals. In the curtain-raiser, Westmeath eased past Laois 2-17 to 0-10 to make the final for a second successive season and a third in four years.