2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Donegal recover from poor start

Donegal recover from poor start to take the Junior crown
Donegal 3-14 Kildare 0-12

Beaten Finalists of ’93.’94 and 2002, Donegal took on beaten
finalists of 2001 Kildare. While this game may not have been
as tactically defensive as the senior game, the standard of
play and the high scoring kept the crowd entertained. Played
before the rain came down the drier conditions made for less

Kildare started in fine fashion and had opened a 5 point to
2 advantage by the 15th minute. Donegal sensing the tile could
be slipping from them turned the game around. They hit a really
purple patch, led by scoring ace Maureen O’Donnell who hit
1-8 in all they went from 3 points down to 2 up in the next
10 minutes. Then came the first goal which in a way proved
to be very decisive as far as the outcome of the match was
concerned, Kelly Lacey was at the end of a move started by
O’Donnell and sent a crashing ball to the net before the break.

Donegal were now in the driving seat with a 1-9 to 0-7 interval
advantage. To their credit Kildare came out with al guns blazing
in the 2nd half and when Tracy Noone hit over 2 frees, she
scored 7 in all, they looked to be in with a chance. Then
Donegal struck again and a shot from Yvonne McGonagle went
in off the crossbar and post giving the Lilywhites keeper
Ellen Ryan no chance.

Ten minutes from the end Donegal closed the door when Debbie
Ann Fox their inspiring capt sent a great ball to the net.
Debbie was later named player of the match and there were
massive scenes of jubilation for Donegal at the finish, they
had a huge following, surprisingly much bigger than Kildare
who were much nearer the venue.

Their manager Mark Curran at 24 must have been the youngest
manager ever to taste success at Croke Park. Referee Liam
McDonagh did an excellent job, and his task was made easier,
by two teams who went out to play football. They all gave
of their very best. It was heartbreaking for Kildare and their
manager Frank Delaney, they must start all over again.

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