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Ruthless Donegal fire six goals as they put Kerry to the sword

Donegal 6-11 Kerry 0-9

By Chris McNulty in Ballybofey

Donegal ladies were ruthless in their dispatch of Kerry as the Tir Chonaill women struck six goals in a one-sided rout.

Yvonne Bonner and Ciara Grant scored a brace each with Karen Guthrie and Sarah Jane McDonald also rattling the net.

A big crowd came in to lend their voice to the ladies, playing in a curtain-raiser for the senior men for the first time – and they didn’t disappoint with a lethal display.

Bonner and Grant netted in the second half after Donegal had hit four majors in part one.

After leading 0-3 to 0-2 in the 11th minute, Kerry would score just once more in the first period with Donegal grabbing four goals, including three in a lethal five-minute spell that left Kerry at the foot of a mountain.

Grant, making her first start, slotted home after Geraldine McLaughlin was denied by Laura Fitzgerald in the 23rd minute.

The clearance fell to Grant and the Letterkenny woman made no mistake.

Yvonne Bonner’s effort squirmed under the unfortunate Laura Fitzgerald for Donegal’s third goal and soon after Sarah Jane McDonald powered home after being sent clear.

Katy Herron and McDonald added points to put Donegal 15 points in front at the changeover.

Donegal hit the game’s opening goal after 12 minutes as Guthrie rose strongly to bat to the net from Yvonne Bonner’s lofted ball into the danger zone. Guthrie timed her leap to perfection and got a fist to it, steering home.

Those three goals in five minutes had Donegal out of sight by the internal – when they led 4-7 to 0-4.

A blistering start to the second half saw Donegal turn the screw. McLaughlin fed Bonner for a fifth goal after only 26 seconds and Grant bagged her second in the 43rd minute, firing in after a superb team move.

By then, it was only a matter of how many Donegal would win by in a comfortable triumph. 

Scorers for Donegal – Ciara Grant, Yvonne Bonner 2-0; Karen Guthrie 1-3 (2f); Sarah Jane McDonald 1-1; Aoife McDonnell, Grainne Houston 0-2 each; Geraldine McLaughlin, Anna Marie McGlynn, Katy Herron 0-1 each

Scorers for Kerry – Sarah Houlihan 0-7 (5f); Eilish O’Leary, Andrea Murphy 0-1 each

Donegal: R McCafferty; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, O McCafferty; B McLaughlin, C Hegarty, A McDonnell; K Herron, G Houston; K Guthrie, N Hegarty, SJ McDonald; C Grant, Y Bonner, G McLaughlin.

Subs: E Gallagher for N.McLaughlin (37), E McCrory for Guthrie (42), AM McGlynn for Bonner (48), K McKinney for O’McCafferty (48), P Groary for McDonald (51), B Gallagher for Grant (58), N Carr for Doherty (58), A McDonnell for G.McLaughlin (58), R Friel for Houston (58), M Breslin for C.Hegarty (60), S McGinty for N.Hegarty (60)

Kerry – L Fitzgerald; E Lynch, D Kearney, A O’Connell; K O’Sullivan, L Coughlan, Sarah Murphy; L Scanlon, E O’Leary; A Brosnan, E Dineen, A Desmond; S Houlihan, C O’Connor, A Murphy.

Subs: C O’Sullivan for Kearney (25), M Barry for O’Connor (42), S Goodwin for O’Leary (51).

Referee – G Carmody (Mayo).

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