Donegal go down to Sligo Rovers in U17 Women’s National League

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Two goals in the last ten minutes of the first half helped Sligo Rovers to overcome the Donegal Women’s League in the Continental Tyres U17 Women’s National League at St Patrick’s Park, Drumkeen today.

Donegal Women’s League 1 Sligo Rovers 4

Molly Page had cancelled out an early opener by Ava Keane, but Sligo re-took the lead again in the 25th minute when Alva Munnelly riffled home.

An unfortunate own goal off the head of Bronagh Gallagher gave Sligo a 3-1 cushion at the interval and a header by Keane made the win safe for the visitors. 

Donegal had come close last week in a 3-2 defeat away to the same opponents and a pulsating start here saw two goals in the opening ten minutes.

Keane slotted home the game’s first goal, but Donegal hit back as Page struck gold with a neat finish.

Donegal captain Catherine Grier saw a free kick deflect away from the target while Sligo’s Aoife Horan shot just over the top from a good position.

Munnelly put Sligo ahead again when she wriggled free of Grier’s attention on the edge of the box and spun a brilliant effort over and beyond the reach of Donegal ‘keeper Neve Scanlan.

The Donegal net minder did well to deny Horan, who was teed up by Keane and Allanah Kee cleared the danger.

Sligo extended the lead when a superb corner by Kate O’Dowd flicked off Gallagher and into the back of the net.

Donegal were unlucky not to claw one back as Ciara McGarvey’s free from the left was somehow kept out by Sligo number 1 Lauren McLellan.

Susanne White forced a good save from McLellan in the second half, but Keane got her second and Sligo’s fourth late in the tie.

Donegal Women’s League: Neve Scanlan, Allanah Kee, Michelle McDevitt, Catherine Grier, Molly Page, Aisling Irwin, Susanne White, Ciara McGarvey, Megan Masterson, Bronagh Gallagher, Danielle Hynd. Subs used: Aoife Kelly, Helena McGee, Kelly Ann Buchanan, Sarah Harkin.

Sligo Rovers: Lauren McLellan, Kate Nugent, Emer O’Neill, Aoife O’Neill, Leagh Byrne, Kelsey Munroe, Aoife Haran, Roisin Molloy, Ava Keane, Alva Munnelly, Kate O’Dowd. Subs used: Erin Then, Ciara Henry, Leah Duffy, Leah McHugh.

Referee: Vincent McLoughlin.

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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