Cork ladies footballers fall to shock league loss on the road to Donegal

Cork ladies footballers fall to shock league loss on the road to Donegal
Orla Finn of Cork in action against Éabha Rutledge of Dublin recently. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Donegal 2-6 Cork 0-8

AN UPSET in the Lidl Ladies NFL as Donegal got the better of Cork at Ballyshannon yesterday.

A win for the visitors would have secured their place in the league final, whilst for Donegal a win was vital to move them out of the relegation places.

Cork travelled without a number of players, including dual stars Hannah Looney and Libby Coppinger who were on camogie duty, but they still would have expected to win this one.

Geraldine McLaughlin's tally of 1-5 went a long way to ensuring that the homeside prevailed.

They opened in good fashion thanks to a McLaughlin free, although Cork, with the aid of the breeze, responded with three points on the bounce thanks to Sadhbh O'Leary, Saoirse Noonan and Orla Finn (free).

But the game turned on its head after 21 minutes, when Donegal turned a two-point deficit into a lead when Amy Boyle Carr goaled for the home side.

Things got better again for Donegal when they moved into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead with McLaughlin on target for the second time in the contest. But at the other end Cork, too, had their own sharp-shooter and Finn cut the gap in half with another free.

Before the midpoint both sides traded points with McLaughlin clipped a free for Donegal and Finn adding another for Ephie Fitzgerald’s side, which meant the Ulster side led 1-3 to 0-5 at half-time.

McLaughlin and Finn picked up where they'd left off on the resumption with two more converted frees as this game looked likely to go down to the wire.

But the big score arrived on 38 minutes when McLaughlin tore through the middle and hammered a brilliant goal low and into the bottom corner of the net to give her side some comfort.

McLaughlin and Finn added to their personal hauls before the end while Donegal substitute Niamh Hegarty brought the curtain down for the winners as they claimed a vital second win of the competition to move off the bottom of the table.

The win now sees Cork having to travel to Galway needing a win to guarantee a place in the league final with Mayo still very much in contention as well.

Scorers for Donegal: G McLaugglin 1-5 (0-3 f), A Boyle Carr 1-0, Niamh Hegarty 0-1.

Cork: O Finn 0-6 f, S Noonan 0-1, S O'Leary 0-1.

DONEGAL: D McElhinney; AM Logue, E Gallagher, D Foley; N Carr, R Rodgers, N Boyle; N McLaughlin, E McGinley; A Boyle Carr, G McLaughlin, K Ward; N Gordon, E McCroary, C Sharkey.

Subs: N Hegarty for McCroary (45), N McLaughlin for Gordon (51).

CORK: C Moore; S Kelly, M Ambrose, C O'Callaghan; L O'Mahony, M Duggan, A Hutchings; M O’Callaghan, B O’Sullivan; O Farmer, A O'Sullivan, A O'Mahony; S O'Leary, S Noonan, O Finn.

Subs: L Cleary for Noonan (45), M Calahane for O'Mahony (45), E Cleary for Ambrose (49), C O'Shea for Farmer (53), S Hayes for Duggan (58).

Referee: Gus Chapman, Sligo.

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