Ladies exit Ulster at hands of Donegal

Ulster LGFA semi-final

Donegal 3-19

Cavan 0-11

Cavan ladies exited the Ulster Championship at the semi-final stage this afternoon with a disappointing, one-sided loss against a classy Donegal side in the curtain-raiser at St Tiernach's Park, Clones.

The Breffni women just never got into their stride and the result was beyond doubt long before the final whistle.

At half-time, Cavan were in trouble, trailing by 10 points and struggling badly on their own restarts.

Cavan started brightly, opening the score with a free from Aisling Gilsenan after five minutes. The Breffni ladies doubled their advantage when Geraldine Smith laid off for Gilsenan to drive through and send over a fine score but that was as good as it got for Gerry Moane’s side.

A devastating two-minute spell saw Donegal open a three-point advantage and they would not relinquish their lead for the remainder of the contest. The brilliant Geraldine McLaughlin got Donegal going with a free in the eighth minute; Cavan were penalised for over-carrying as they came out with the ball and McLaughlin again did the honours.

From the resulting kick-out, Donegal turned over possession and after captain Niamh McLaughlin’s attempted lob struck the crossbar, Susanne White was on hand to blast to the net from close range.

And when Katy Herron picked out Yvonne Bonnar for another, Cavan were suddenly four down with 11 minutes played and a long afternoon was in store. In fairness to Cavan, they battled valiantly throughout but Donegal were superior on the day, with their attack particularly impressive.

Good work from Niamh Keenaghan and Zara Fay created a chance for Lauren McVeety to slot over Cavan’s third but Donegal continued to press and a terrific point from McLaughlin was followed by their second goal, White again supplying the finish after a well-worked move.

McLaughlin and Keenaghan, with an excellent score, traded points before Donegal extended their lead through White to make it 2-6 to 0-4.

Geraldine Smith hit back with a good point for Cavan and McVeety tacked on a free but points from Niamh Hegarty, McLaughlin, Bonnar and a long-range Katy Herron effort made it 2-10 to 0-6 at the halfway stage.

Cavan needed to light up the scoreboard quickly on the resumption but found the Donegal defence difficult to breach. White registered for Maxi Curran’s side and although McVeety and Gilsenan knocked over frees for Cavan, the Blues did not look like making inroads into Donegal’s lead.

Bonnar and McLaughlin (free) raised further white flags before super work by McVeety set Geraldine Smith up for another from play,

A free from McLaughlin made it 2-15 to 0-9 and the result was put to bed when the resulting kick-out was intercepted and Bonnar found the net with a stylish finish.

Cavan responded with a goal of their own when McVeety slotted home from the penalty spot but it had consolation written all over it at that stage.

Subs Ally Cahill and Aisling Walls both split the posts for Cavan late on but Donegal were always in control and ran out comfortable winners.

Cavan: Elaine Walsh, Rachael Doonan, Shauna Lynch, Zara Fay, Sinead Greene, Laura Fitzpatrick, Emma Halton, Mona Sheridan, Neasa Byrd, Niamh Keenaghan, Lauren McVeety, Aisling Gilsenan, Geraldine Sheridan, Aine Reilly, Geraldine Sheridan

Subs: Ally Cahill for A Reilly, Kate McIntyre for Fay (both ht), Aisling Walls for Keenaghan (50), Keri McCormack for G Sheridan, Erin Longair for Halton (53, inj.)

Donegal: Roisin McCafferty, Niamh Carr, Evelyn McGinley, Niamh Boyle, Tanya Kennedy, Nicole McLaughlin, Amy Boyle Carr, Katy Herron, Niamh McLaughlin, Yvonne Bonnar, Niamh Hegarty, Shelly Twohig, Blathnaid McLaughlin, Susanne White, Geraldine McLaughlin

Subs: Shauna McFadden for N Boyle (40 mins), Emma McCrory for Herron (50), Katie Long for B McLaughlin (53)