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Power goal helps send Waterford into quarter-finals as Donegal crash out

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship

Waterford 1-10

Donegal 0-7


By Tomás McCarthy

Waterford are through to the quarter-finals of the TG4 All Ireland SFC for the first time since 2021.

A first half strike from Eve Power fired Pat Sullivan’s team to victory in the Walsh Park sunshine. Minor attacker Emma Fitzgerald sent over six frees on just her second senior appearance for the Déise. Hannah and Niamh Power starred in defence.

Donegal now enter a relegation play-off next month. Susanne White shot four points for John McNulty’s team.

This was Waterford’s first game at Walsh Park in 21 years. Glorious June sunshine greeted the two teams for this make or break encounter.

A free from Déise captain Kellyann Hogan opened the scoring in the third minute. Donegal hit back straight away as Amy Boyle wormed her way through the Waterford defence and split the posts. Lauren McGregor then won a free for the home side which Emma Fitzgerald put over.

In the sixth minute, Eve Power emerged with possession from a goalmouth scramble. She unleashed a bullet off her left boot which found the Donegal net with the aid of the crossbar to makew 1-2 to 0-1. Susanne White replied with a free at the other end.

The hosts missed four point chances to increase their advantage. A foul on McGregor in the 20th minute allowed Fitzgerald to fire over her second free. The home team stayed patient against the Donegal blanket defence. A point from dual star Mairéad O’Brien gave Waterford a 1-4 to 0-2 advantage at the half time hooter.

The gap stretched to eight at the start of the second period. Fitzgerald tapped over two more frees off her right boot before McGregor struck one from play to leave it 1-7 to 0-2. Waterford full back Hannah Power put her body on the line to block a Susanne White goal chance. A White free ended a 28 minute barren spell for Donegal.

McGregor crashed a shot off the post before Fitzgerald nailed her fifth free and restored Waterford’s eight point cushion. Donegal rang the changes and substitute Eva Gallagher raised a white flag with her first touch. White tagged on two more. The away team then kicked four wides in a row.

Katie Herron narrowed the deficit to four on 54 minutes but that was as close as Donegal got. A late Emma Murray raised a big cheer from the home fans before Fitzgerald slotted her sixth dead ball with the last kick.

Scorers – Waterford: E Fitzgerald 0-6 (6fs), E Power 1-0, E Murray, L McGregor, M O’Brien, K Hogan (f) 0-1 each.

Donegal: S White 0-4 (3fs), K Herron, E Gallagher, A Boyle Carr 0-1 each.

WATERFORD: E O’Brien; C Murray, N Power, K McGrath; A McNulty, E Murray, A Murray; H Power, E Power; A Fitzgerald, K Hogan, K Murray; E Fitzgerald, L McGregor, M O’Brien. Subs: M Comerford for O’Brien (40), C McCarthy for McGregor (44), C Carroll for K Murray (56), A Waring for A Fitzgerald (60).

DONEGAL: C Friel; S McLaughlin, A Temple Asokuh, E McGinley; K Dowds, N Boyle, T Hegarty; R Rodgers, N Carr; C Keon, N McLaughlin, A Boyle Carr; S White, K Herron, K Long. Subs: B McLaughlin for S McLaughlin (36), E Gallagher for Long (36), J McFadden for Keon (42), L Cunningham for Dowds (57).

Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry)

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