A VISIT FROM Oriel ladies was not to be taken lightly as they had won the Shield for the last two years.
With their recent victories built on the platform of strong first half performances, Donegal knew that they had to hold on tight to them before the interval to ensure our second half did not have to chase an unreasonable total.
After 5 ends of the first half, the game was reasonably tight with Donegal leading by 14 shots to 11 shots, thanks to Donegal posting 6 shots in the third ends without reply.
Over the final five ends of the first half, Donegal posted 17 shots without reply on the 7th and 9th ends to have a comfortable lead of 16 shots with the score at 36 shots to 20 shots.
On mat one, Ruby Graham, Kathleen Lynch, Mary McClintock and Margaret Montgomery were down 6 shots to 5 shots after 6 ends to Vera Mohan’s rink but a gain of 8 shots over the next 3 ends resulted in a victory of 13 shots to 9 shots.
On mat two, Ann Hume, Sylvia Bell, Pearl Bustard and Paula Friel were getting it tight against Gill Rouiller’s rink after being 5 shots to 3 shots down after 5 ends. However the wee terrior hung in to win 8 shots to 7 shots. On mat three, Jean Buchanan, Lisa O’Kane, Donna Hegarty and Ruth Crawford all played well against the highly rated Imelda Hanratty’s rink and cruised to a 15 shots to 4 shots win.
Oriel’s fighting qualities are well known but 4 shots without reply to Donegal in the first end of the second half steadied the nerves and Donegal’s lead remained 20 shots over the next 5 ends to ensure victory and a semi-final spot against West Down at Loughbrickland on 30th January.
On mat one, Rae McCausland, Martina Brogan, Vanessa McHugh and Rachel McDonnell had a tight struggle against Patricia Hanlon’s rink but kept the game reasonably tight to lose by 9 shots to 8 shots. On mat two, Phyllis Lyttle, Lila Finlay, Kathleen Duggan and Vera Patterson were under pressure from Carol McMahon’s rink and were down 10 shots to 3 shots after 8 ends at which stage the match was won.
On mat three, Maureen Beattie, Margaret Gourley, Isobel Duncan and Elizabeth Doherty were always in control against Rachel Brennan’s rink and, assisted by good fortune, romped home 12 shots to 5 shots.