It’s tight at the top across all grades of the 2019 Donegal Women’s League – here’s a roundup from the latest Under-16 and Under-14 League matches.
Illistrin FC 2 Swilly Rovers 0
This U16 league encounter was keenly contested by both teams from start to finish on the excellent playing surface in Illistrin.
Although the home team enjoyed the lion’s share of possession they were made battle right up to the end by a very well organised and determined Swilly Rovers team.
Good approach play from Rebekah McGlinchey and Alisha Tobin up the right wing created chances for Jodie McFadden and Erika Gallagher but the Swilly keeper Ellie Duffy and her defence did well to keep them out.
The breakthrough came when Coll’s inswinging corner found the net with the aid of a deflection to give Illistrin a deserved lead.
However, Swilly Rovers came more into the game and almost drew level when Anna McFadden found Kelsey McAteer and her brilliant run and shot produced a fantastic save from Orla Corry in the Illistrin goal. Soon after Corry was called into action again but dealt well with the shot.
The second half saw Illistrin create some good chances with Nicole McDaid making some great runs down the left and combining well with Marie Rushe and Ciara Doherty.
Sophie Curran worked well on the right for Illistrin who stretched their lead when Aislinn Coll’s long range effort found the net.
Illistrin had further chances through Erika Gallagher and Jodie McFadden but Duffy made a couple of great saves.
Orla Connolly made a great run for Swilly but Megan McDaid made a good tackle to deny her at the last minute. Indeed Connolly and Hannah O’Carroll were solid in defence for Swilly on the night.
Sarah McGinley did well for Illistrin when introduced and Aobha Gallagher was excellent in midfield along with the reliable Aibhe McDaid in defence.
Maria Kealy made an impressive return to action too as Illistrin continued their early season form against a Swilly team that made them earn all three points with a spirited display.
Referee: Zach McLaughlin.
Bonagee United 0 Raphoe Town 6
Raphoe travelled down to Bonagee on Wednesday evening and came away with a comprehensive win.
Raphoe put early pressure on the Bonagee defence with good attacking play. Finally, they broke through with long ball over the defence of Bonagee and Cody Walsh ran in to score.
Raphoe got a quick two goals after this through Abigail Temple-Asokuh and a long shot form Rebecca McColgan.
Bonagee had a couple of chances, but Walsh added her second.
Julie Wilson and Ella McHugh completed the scoring for the visitors.
Kilmacrennan Celtic 1 Swilly Rovers 3
A hat trick from Caitlin Doherty saw Swilly take all the points back to Ramelton.
After the concession of two first half goals, early on, it proved to be too much of an uphill battle for the home team.
Two great finishes from Doherty – coming straight from goal kicks – set Swilly on their way and she was too strong for the Kilmac defence.
Kilmac cane close a number of times, with Emma Price hitting the woodwork.
Kilmac eventually got a goal through Tara McGettigan, who struck the ball from the edge of the box following a break down from a corner.
Kilmac were pressing for the equalizer and very nearly got it with Lauren Doherty missing from five yards to put it in the side netting.
Immediately after this, Swilly broke and the ball made it through to Doherty again who remained strong and kept possession to slot it neatlu past the Kilmac goalie.
That put an end to the come back from Kilmac, but they continued to fight as ever, right up to the end
Finn Valley 0 Mulroy Academy 5
This game was played on a chilly evening at the Finn Valley Leisure Centre.
A Valley team fielded against a physically-stronger Mulroy Academy team with a selection of players from the Donegal Women’s Academy squad.
Mulroy showed their intent from the kick off and after 20 minutes were a goal to the good after Megan McLaughlin forced her way through the Valley defence.
Claire Diver in the Valley goal kept the away side out after several chances.
Shortly after from a resulting corner Rachel Friel increased the Mulroy lead.
Valley began to threaten the visitors and enjoyed a term of possession but the visitors defence was well marshalled to be breached by the inexperienced attackers.
The Valley girls were to go further behind just before the interval as Rachel Friel capitalised on a defensive error.
In the second half Valley began to string a few passes together and was pushing the Mulroy defence and were unlucky to concede as the visitors were physically too much to handle.
Shortly afterwards again the visitors ended the game as a contest with Eva Blaney and Jessica Coll getting on the scoresheet.
Gweedore Celtic 0 Lagan Harps 2
On a good evening for football at the Screaban, Gweedore started well and were unlucky not to go ahead through Sile Ferry after some good play between Mauve Boyle and Chloe McCole set her up only to hit the crossbar.
Lagan got the opening goal through Orlaith Doherty on 20 minutes and Erin Doherty doubled their lead on 31 minutes.
Gweedore kept pressing for their opening goal through Lauren O’Donnell and Sile Ferry in the second half.
Lagan kept pressing for the third goal but were denied on numerous occasions by Nadia McGee in the Gweedore goals.
It was a great team effort by both teams.
Illistrin FC 3 Raphoe Town 0
Illistrin (main picture) continued their great form in the league with an assured performance against a well organised and determined Raphoe team.
The home team were on the front foot from early on but they were restricted to a few long range efforts from Erika Gallagher as the defensive four from Raphoe of Shania McMonagle, Rocha McCullough, Enya McBride, and Leah McMonagle defended very well.
Leanne McGettigan, Katelyn Doherty, Nicole McDaid, and Sarah McGinley were combining well to penetrate the Raphoe defence in the first half and earned a number of corners for the home team.
Raphoe’s midfield pairing of Abigail Temple-Asokuh and Molly McGroarty were playing well and instigated a number of attacks with Alicia McCullough and Ella McHugh showing some great footwork but Darcey Kelly, Aobha Harrigan, Meabh Devenney, and Emily Irwin restricted their chances with some great defending.
Illistrin keeper Aoibhin Randles was alert of her line too when called upon.
The first goal arrived in the 30th minute when another dangerous corner was handled in the box by the unfortunate Raphoe defender.
Erika Gallagher drilled the ball home but Raphoe keeper Tianna Hannigan almost kept it out as she got a strong hand to it.
The second half saw Illistrin grow in confidence as Claire Gallagher and Grace Nugent worked well out wide.
A long effort from Erika Gallagher was well saved by the keeper but Ciara Molloy was very alert to the rebound and finished well. Soon after the same two combined again as Molloy fired home for Illistrin.
Katelyn Lenihan, Sarah Robinson, and Riona McFadden showed good touches when introduced and Raphoe’s Amy Quigley, Marie Sweeney, Hannah McCarron, and Aimee Connolly battled well for Raphoe.
Young players Ella Rose McDermott, Alicia Brady, and Eimear Gallagher also did well at the end for Illistrin.
The home team had to work very hard to earn all three points. Erika Gallagher and Raphoe’s Shania McMonagle were excellent throughout.
Referee: Marty McCauley.