A gutted Micheál Naughton felt that the seven-week lay-off might have contributed to a below-bar display as his Donegal ladies crashed out of the TG4 All-Ireland Championship today.
Donegal went down 3-14 to 2-11 against Mayo in a quarter-final at Cusack Park.
Picture caption: Karen Guthrie of Donegal after game. Picture by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Early goals by Geraldine McLaughlin and Yvonne McMonagle got Donegal off to a flyer, but Mayo hit three second half goals – Niamh Kelly, Grace Kelly and Cora Staunton all on the mark – to advance.
“A lot of girls had an off day,” Naughton observed.
“We started well with the two goals, but we’re very disappointed with our second-half performance.
“I don’t know if it was the length of time since our last game, but they just weren’t sharp today.
“A lot of girls will be disappointed with their display.”
The Donegal boss, whose side won the Ulster title last month, felt that a number of decisions went badly against his team.
Naughton said: “Geraldine was pulled down for a penalty, they went down the field and got two points. Before half-time, there was a line ball too.
“Some of the decisions, I thought were poor. We’re not blaming the referee, but there was no doubt we should have had a penalty and we’re very annoyed about the line ball.”
It has been a fine campaign in 2017, though.
Donegal, in their first year back in Division 1, reached the League final, where they were pipped by Cork, before they won Ulster thanks to a superb win over Monaghan.
Naughton said: “They put in so much hard work, but football can be so cruel at times. I feel so sorry for them. They’ve been training five nights a week since last November.”Tags: