Donegal minors conquer Ulster again

Ladies Minor championship
15th May 2010
Donegal 3-11
Down 1-5
Truagh, county Monaghan.

Donegal's record in Ladies football continues to grow ever more impressive as Kenny Griffin's fantastic crop of minor ladies retained their provincial title after overcoming a slow first-half to blow Down out of the water in Saturday's Ulster final.

The reigning Ulster Champions - who also landed the big prize of the All-Ireland last year - trailed 1-3 to 1-2 at half-time, but they came good when it mattered to turn the final, played at Truagh, County Monaghan, into a one-sided affair.

Geraldine McLaughlin had scored the Donegal goal very early on and second-half majors from Caoimhe Barrett and sub Rose Boyle put the icing on the cake and had the green and gold ribbons adorning yet more silverware.

Donegal clipped a lot of bad wides in the opening half, a half in which they couldn't have got off to a better start in.

With the game's first score, Termon sharp-shooter Geraldine McLaughlin rattled the back of the Down net and a point from Kate Keaney added to the blistering opening.

Donegal were well on top, but failed to hit the target again until McLaughlin raised the white flag late in the half - by which time Down had racked up 1-3 without reply, with Nathanna Lennon getting their goal, shotting expertly past the reach of Niamh Mailey.

McLaughlin scored a point in the final minutes of the half to bring Donegal to within a point of the Mourne girls at the chaneover.

Manager Kenny Griffin and his backroom team got the response they craved in the second-half as Donegal took charge, storming their way to glory with a lethal second-half display that left Down trailing in their wake.

The style and panache with which they usually play was found at the interval and their deadly arsenal of scoring power came to the fore as the Champions showed just why they are a feared opponent at the minute.

Barrett got them off and running when she found the back of the net in the opening minutes of the second-half. Geraldine McLaughlin (2), Ciara Hegarty, Dearbhaile McNeill, Alanagh McDonald, Niamh McLaughlin and three from the ever-dangerous Ciara Grant sent Donegal into an unassailable advantage.

Down managed just two points against a stern Donegal defence, who showed no mercy.

They finished in real style, adding a third goal for good measure when substitute Rose Boyle got in on the act with the final play of the game to confirm what had already been known for quite a while in the second-half - Donegal were Ulster Minor Ladies Champions for 2010.

Kenny Griffin now takes his talented girls to the All Ireland series once more, where they have another title to defend.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Donegal
Niamh Mailey; Tara Khan, Ciara Hegarty (0-1), Orlaith Furlong; Kayla Farren, Dearbhaile McNeill (0-1), Niamh Friel; Tanya Kennedy, Alanagh McDonald (0-1); Roisin Friel, Caoimhe Barrett (1-0), Kate Keaney (0-1); Niamh McLaughlin (0-1), Geraldine McLaughlin (1-3), Ciara Grant (0-3).
SUBSTITUTES: Rose Boyle (1-0) for Barrett, Emer Gallagher for McNeill, Lorraine Molloy for McDonald.
Referee: Paul Swift (Monaghan).

Report kind courtesy of the Donegal News.

Last modified: Monday, 17 May 2010 at 9:32pm