Donegal Women’s League booked a place in the WFAI Under-18 Inter-League final thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Cork this afternoon.
Donegal Women’s League 1 Cork Women’s League 1
After Extra Time. Donegal win 4-3 on penalties
Brid McGinty’s team, who made the long journey south yesterday, kept their nerve when it mattered most at Mayfield.
Goalkeeper Clare Friel – excellent throughout for the Donegal side – saved one of the Cork penalties and when another smashed off the crossbar Donegal’s berth in the final was secure.
Helena McGee, a half-time substitute, had drawn Donegal level just seven minutes into the second half, after Meghan Sheenan had put Cork in front.
Both sides had their chances after that with Danielle McDevitt hitting the crossbar in extra-time. At the other end, Michelle McDevitt headed off the goal-line to send the game to a shoot-out.
Friel got down to beat away the second of the Cork penalties and with Eimear Sweeney, Bronagh Gallagher, Catherine Grier and Siobhan Sweeney netting for Donegal, Cork’s fourth rattled the bar and Donegal were through.
Donegal began well with the Cork goalkeeper denying Jodie Walker after she was played in by Grier.
Sheenan broke the deadlock when firing past Friel on the half-hour.
Gallagher smacked against the crossbar as Donegal sought a way back while Suzie White headed over from a teasing Grier free.
Friel twice kept Cork at arm’s length with good saves and Eimear Sweeney headed off the line with Cork turning the screw.
But Donegal were on level terms when McGee fired home after a corner was headed into her path.
McGee was thwarted again by a defender and it was all down to extra time and, ultimately, penalties to determine the winner.
Donegal Women’s League: Clare Friel, Siobhan Sweeney, Catherine Grier, Eimear Sweeney, Michelle McDevitt, Molly Page, Danielle McDevitt, Suzie White, Bronagh Gallagher, Fiona Shovlin, Jodie Walker. Sub: Helena McGee for Shovlin. Emily McDevitt, Aisling Coll, Casey Barrett, Étaín Haicéid unused.