Donegal Ladies recorded their second league victory in another brave performance under miserable conditions at St Mary’s Convoy against Mayo Ladies in Division One of the Lidl National Football League.
Donegal Ladies 3-10 Mayo 2-06
By Shaun Keenan at St Mary’s Convoy
Pictures: North West Newspix
Excellent displays from Karen Guthrie, Rosin Friel and Ciara Grant scored the all-important and game-winning goals for Maxi Curran’s side.
Donegal opened their league account last weekend with an emphatic four-point win over Dublin in Croke Park and they made sure to build off the back of that performance in Convoy.
Mayo had the early chances but it took only two minutes for Donegal to take the lead with Amy Boyle Carr gliding past the Peter Leahy’s defence before opening the scoreline.
Last week’s outstanding performer Karen Guthrie registered three points of her own before securing a superb long-range effort over the head of Laura Brennan in the Mayo goal.
It was a stunning effort from the Donegal Captain but there were questions whether Guthrie meant it or not, but an impressive effort nonetheless from a player who continues to get better and better.
Mayo, following a period without their captain, Niamh Kelly, who was temporally sidelined for a sliding challenge after three minutes, were sparked into life midway through the half.
Rachel Kearns produced the reply for Mayo to start a scoring drive for Leahy’s side, with Niamh Kelly subsequently securing a sloppily defended goal for the Connacht outfit before Kelly and Fiona Doherty restored parity after 24 minutes.
Donegal where caught flat-footed, using a lot of energy in the early stages and it showed as Mayo took the advantage of some poor defending, gaining the lead for the first time in the fixture through Doherty with an excellent open score.
Three minutes before the interval, the Mayo challenge gathered further pace with Kelly, again, producing the goods when it mattered, opening up a two-point lead.
However, the inspiring Guthrie held her nerve from range with two direct free-kicks beyond Brennan to make the game level at the break.
Both teams played with hesitancy in the opening stages of the second period, with Curran’s side wasting several early opportunities in front of goal and they were made to pay.
After 40-minute sMayo snatched the lead, Rosin Durkin, just on as a substitute, didn’t waste any time making her presence felt.
However, any anxieties Curran may have harboured about his team switching off were soothed in the 42nd minute when Ciara Grant matched Guthrie first-half strike with a lobbed-driven goal.
The next six minutes determined the game and it was in Donegal’s favour as Niamh Hegarty secured another point. But it was Roisin Friel’s instant impact as a substitute that all but sealed the game for the locals.
With her first touch, Friel forged Donegal second full three points of the season with the third goal of the game, driving home Ciara Grant’s initial effort that parried by Mayo’s Brennan.
Mayo did cut the deficit with a late second-half goal through Kearns after 51 minutes, but Donegal emphatically extended their lead with three more scores.
It was an impressive second-half performance from Curran’s side who were driven on by their star player Karen Guthrie.
Donegal will now play Monaghan in two weeks times who were narrowly beaten by Galway on Sunday.
Donegal: Aisling Nee, Nicole GordonEmer Gallagher, Shannon McGroddy, Treasa Doherty, Nicole McLaughlin, Niamh Carr; Katy Herron, Niamh Boyle, Karen Guthrie (1-5,3f), Niamh Hegarty (0-3), Amy Boyle Carr (0-1), Geraldine McLaughlin, Megan Ryan, Ciara Grant (1-0).
Subs: Aoife McColgan for A Nee 16′ (injured); Roisin Friel (1-1) for S McGroddy 46, Tara Hegarty for Ciara Grant 60.
Mayo: Laura Brennan, Roisin Flynn, Noirin Moran, Danielle Caldwell; Kathryn Sullivan, Ciara McManamon, Nicola O’Malley, Clodagh McManamon, Dayna Finn; Niamh Kelly (1-2), Fiona Doherty (0-2), Sinead Cafferky, Emma Needham, Rachel Kearns (1-2), Grace Kelly.
Subs: Roisin Durkin (0-1) for G Kelly H/T, Amy Roddy for O Finn 59.
Referee: Brendan Rice (Down)Tags: