| 17°C Dublin

Jackies Done' by magic Mac

IN time, they could well be calling Geraldine McLaughlin the Donegal Catch. She produced an exhibition of high quality fielding and finishing on the Parnell's pitch for all seasons last Sunday.

She hit three goals and five points as Donegal downed the Dubs, 3-10 to 2-7, in the Coolock rain.

Conditions were miserable for this Tesco National League Division 1 contest. The lucky ones looked on from the clubhouse.

They saw McLaughlin make the biggest impact as time and again she won her own ball and sent the leather spinning over or under the bar.

She had three goals in the sack as Donegal led by 3-4 to 2-4 at the tea. And never was a hot cuppa more welcome. Last week, Dublin battled back to secure a fine win over Meath at Russell Park. They showed spirit again here, but the heroic comeback didn't look on.

Donegal grew more and more into the hour, and, if anything, were even stronger following the break.


Dublin endured a setback minutes before the start when Elaine Kelly damaged a hamstring. Into the first XV came Hannah Tyrell, who had prospered against the Royals.

But on this occasion, Dublin weren't able to get their hands on enough possession to create much promise in attack.

Donegal looked very fit. They got major contributions from Deirdre Foley, Karen Guthrie, Ciara Hegarty and Eilish Ward.

There was an impressive tempo to their play. They rarely wasted a pass, and they closed down all of Dublin's avenues and alleyways.

Life was looking bright for the Dubs when Denise McKenna shook the net in the 12th minute.

Noelle Healy provided the pass, with the intelligent running of Sinead Aherne helping to open the gate.

Dublin's second goal was nudged in by Siobhan Woods on 23 minutes, but by then, McLaughlin's finger-prints were all over the script.

There was just no containing her. Even when surrounded by defenders, she could still find the cat door.

Her hat-trick came in a four-minute spell. All with similar wrapping paper. Grasp the O'Neill's close to goal, turn and bang. Bingo. Her first goal arrived on 17 minutes, and her second followed two minutes later. Her third put Donegal ahead by 3-3 to 1-3.

She rarely loses out in a tussle. Late on, not far from midfield, she was able to divert the ball to a team-mate by sheer persistence and bravery. It led to a valuable Lorraine Molloy point.

Donegal hit the last five points of the game, with Foley's strike from a tight angle on the left being the pick of the golden daffodils.

DUBLIN: E Merrigan (Parnell's); R Byrne (Clanna Gael Fontenoy), S Goldrick (Foxrock Cabinteely), L Caffrey (Na Fianna); N Hyland (Ballyboden St Enda's), S Finnegan (Fingallians), N Keane (Clann Mhuire); A McGuinness (Fingallians, 0-1,f), N Healy (St Brigid's); C Ruddy (Ballyboden St Enda's), L Davey (Skerries Harps, 0-1), S Woods (Raheny, 1-1); S Aherne ( St Sylvester's, 0-4, 3f), D McKenna (Fingallians, 1-0), H Tyrell (Round Tower, Clondalkin). Subs used: R Ruddy (Ballyboden St Enda's), E McDonagh (Foxrock Cabinteely), A Ring (Foxrock Cabinteely), R Davey (Skerries Harps).