KANESHIA MCKINNEY has had a busy week of it, but such is the life of a dual player competing for honours.
McKinney played for the Donegal senior ladies team that lost out to Dublin in last Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final in Longford before helping Lagan Harps to win the Donegal Women’s League on Monday.
McKinney came off the bench late on in the 3-0 win over Bonagee United that crowned Lagan champions.
McKinney, who also plays Gaelic football with St Eunan’s, was donning the Lagan colours for the first time in several weeks due to her GAA commitments, but came back at just the right time.
“It’s great to see the girls getting the result and keeping the title,” she said.[adrotate group=”37″]
“I haven’t been in now for a while because I’ve been with the county, but they’re a really young side and have been working hard. They’re coming on well.
“I’m delighted to come back and help them to win the League. Winning the League was the big aim for us.
“We had a few ups and downs, with the Foyle Cup and all, and we’ve had a few girls away on holidays too.
“Bríd (McGinty) has been struggling for players at times, but they work really hard and it’s a very young squad. They’re going places.”
Only four teams – Lagan, Bonagee, Glenree United and Finn Valley – competed in the Donegal Women’s League this season and there are real fears for its future.
McKinney believes they can ride out the storm and attract new blood to compete in the League.
She said: “It’s hard with so few teams in the League. You sort of get fed up seeing the same teams every couple of weeks. Hopefully young girls in schools will see an opportunity and we can get more teams to enter.
“We lost a lot of girls who’ve gone over the border to play. But the standard here is actually very good. Catherine (Grier) has come into us from Swilly and done really well; there are some excellent young players here.[adrotate group=”46″]
“We just need to build on the underage league, where there are eight or nine teams competing.”
On Monday, Lagan got the win they needed to clinch the title. It was a must-win for Bonagee, who did push the Orchard Park side all the way, but on Monday goals from Amanda Callaghan, Amy Boyd and Caroline Gallagher sealed the deal after Denise McElhinney, the Bonagee goalkeeper, had saved a penalty by Nakita Burke.
McKinney and Burke haven’t had much game time, but with a number missing they were called upon for a game that attracted a big crowd to Dry Arch Park.
She said: “Bonagee pushed us right to the line. It meant that we couldn’t switch off halfway through. It was good to have a bit of competition, a bit of bite. There’s a good rivalry there and it’s good to have that.”[adrotate group=”70″]
The teams will meet again on Sunday-week in the Glencar Inn Cup final, while Lagan also have the Ulster Cup final – against Greencastle United – to look forward to.
On Saturday’s loss to Dublin, when Donegal threatened to really upset the odds, only to go down 1-13 to 2-7, McKinney added: “We did well, but Dublin just had too much. I think we shocked ourselves in the first half. We went out, pressed high up and it worked. No-one gave us a chance at all, but we put a mark on the game.”Tags: