0-15 DONEGAL 2-11


started out as a David versus Goliath match up, finished up Goliath
versus David. The reigning All-Ireland minor champions Cork, were
knocked from their pedestal on Saturday in Tuam when Donegal smashed
dreams of a third successive title. The Ulster side were certain
underdogs but it was evident from the throw in they had arrived
with their homework done. Tactically, it was a dream game for
Donegal who let the ball do the work. It made sense economically
and Cork simply couldn’t get to grips with it. In contrast the
Rebels’ overworked the ball, hand passing over ever blade of grass
and on the occasion they did use the long pass, they caught their
opponents on the hop. Despite playing in third gear for the first,
Cork kept in tow and were lucky to trail by a solitary point at
the half, 0-5 0-6. The northerners opened the scoring on the fourth
minute and from there on the sides were on par. Beara’s Amanda
Murphy registered four points with Deirdre Cotter adding another
following a great solo run. Geraldine O’Flynn was causing problems
on the left flank with Rena Buckley supplying perfectly placed
passes but there seemed no way through with Ashling Corcoran and
Sarah Faulkner making life difficult. At the other end, Sheila
Campbell and Yvonne McMonagle notched their sides first six points
and had it not been for Anita Thompson, the outcome could have
been uglier.

accurately timed runs were splitting the Cork full back line and
she found herself with two goal scoring opportunities. The first
found itself soaring over the bar and the second was saved by
keeper Orlaith Murphy. Possession was 50/50 in midfield but it
was Bridget Gallagher’s use of fast, direct ball that saw her
side deservedly lead at halftime. The Rebel ladies realised their
All-Ireland title was at stake and within two minutes of the restart
secured their first lead of the game with points from Murphy and
Buckley. The crucial turning point however arrived on the 35minute
when Murphy was unfairly sin-binned for shadowing a player. Instantaneously
Donegal capitalised on the situation and in the following four
minutes notched 2-2, including a penalty strike from top scorer
McMonagle. The psychological blow was mammoth and the Cork girls
began to lose all composure.

returned and immediately notched a point to pick her team mates
up. McMonagle and Niamh Hegarty were on fire at this stage but
Cork’s Ciara Walsh began to dominate in midfield. Points from
O’Flynn, Walsh and Cotter gave the Rebels’ hope and just as time
was closing in, the score line was reducing accordingly. Throughout
the sixty minutes Donegal hunted in packs and it was most effective
in the dying minutes as Cork threw everything they had left at
them. Rhona Buckley was unlucky to have a rasping shot saved by
Karen Guttaky which would have sealed a dramatic win but had it
gone in it wouldn’t reflect the true colours of the game. It was
obvious losing wasn’t an option for Donegal and in the end they
were deserving of a place in the All-Ireland final.

for Cork: A Murphy 0-8 (0-3frees), D Cotter 0-3, G O’Flynn 0-2
(0-1free), C Walsh and R Buckley 0-1each.

for Donegal: Y McMonagle, 1-7 (1-0 penalty), S Campbell 1-3 and
N Hegarty 0-1(free).

O Murphy, CA Stack, E Dunne, A Thompson, L Cohalan, C Walsh,
L McSweeney, L Power, R Buckley, S Forde, A Murphy, G O’Flynn,
C Daly, R Buckley, D Cotter. Subs: C McCarthy for C Daly (43min).

K Guttaky, S Faulkner, E Lawn, D McDaid, AM McGlynn, A Watters,
A Corcoran, M Hernon, B Gallagher, G Houston, S Campbell, L Byrne,
C Breslin, Y McMonagle, N Hegarty. Subs: M McFadden for G Houston
(54min) and S Walsh for A Corcoran (57min).

G Guinan (Galway)

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