Monday 10 December 2018

Bonner on fire as super Donegal take title again

Donegal 9-21 Armagh 4-8 (TG4 Ulster ladies SFC final)

Geraldine McLaughlin celebrates after scoring Donegal’s seventh goal during yesterday’s Ulster final. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Geraldine McLaughlin celebrates after scoring Donegal’s seventh goal during yesterday’s Ulster final. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Donegal were in breathtaking form as they put Armagh to the sword by 28 points in Brewster Park, Enniskillen, to clinch back-to-back TG4 Ulster senior titles.

Their full-forward line combined for 8-11 of their total, with Yvonne Bonner finishing with 4-6. Geraldine McLaughlin scored 3-4 and 1-2 came from Eilish Ward.

Donegal led 1-6 to 0-3 after the first quarter, Bonnar with a goal in the fourth minute.

Bonnar hit 1-4 of that first 1-6 for the Tir Chonaill side, but it looked like their hard work had come undone when first Kelly Mallon finished to the back of the net in the 18th minute and then Aimee Mackin finished from the penalty spot in the 21st minute.

That levelled the game, but thereafter it became one-way traffic. Until half-time, Donegal outscored their opponents 3-5 to 0-3, while also having Therese McCafferty in the sin bin.

McLaughlin followed up her point with a goal after a sideline ball, but it was two goals in the space of a minute in injury-time that gave Armagh an insurmountable half-time deficit.

Armagh's Lauren McConville is quickly swarmed by Emer Gallagher, left, and Therese McCaffrey. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Armagh's Lauren McConville is quickly swarmed by Emer Gallagher, left, and Therese McCaffrey. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Advantage

Eilish Ward fired home to make it 3-11 to 2-7 and Niamh Hegarty pounced to stretch Donegal's lead to 10 points, 4-11 to 2-7, and the champions went in with a 4-13 to 2-7 half-time advantage.

Donegal added an unanswered 1-4 after the resumption, Bonner with a 34th-minute goal. Bonner completed her hat-trick in the 48th minute, after McCafferty had denied Mackin from the penalty spot.

As the game entered injury-time, a Caroline O'Hanlon penalty reduced the deficit back to 7-19 to 3-8, but in almost 10 minutes of injury-time McLaughlin completed her hat-trick as they finished the game with 12 players, with Emer Gallagher, McLaughlin and Katy Herron picking up yellow cards.

Sarah Marley pictured in close pursuit of Donegal's Bridget Gallagher. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Sarah Marley pictured in close pursuit of Donegal's Bridget Gallagher. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Blaithin Mackin scored Armagh's fourth goal in the 66th minute and Bonnar added her fourth goal to complete the rout.

Scorers - Donegal: Y Bonner 4-6, G McLaughlin 3-4 (1f), E Ward 1-2, K Herron 0-4, N Hegarty 1-1, SJ McDonald 0-2, A McDonnell 0-1, K Guthrie 0-1 each

Armagh: C O'Hanlon 1-3 (1-0 pen), A Mackin 1-2 (2f), B Mackin, K Mallon 1-1 each, A McCoy 0-1

Donegal - R McCafferty; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, E Gallagher; T McCafferty, C Hegarty, D Foley; K Herron, A McDonnell; K Guthrie, N Hegarty, SJ McDonald; G McLaughlin, Y Bonner, E Ward. Subs: R Friel for Hegarty (46), N Carr for Foley (48), B Gallagher for Ward (49), K McKinney for Doherty (50), B McLaughlin for McDonald (62)

Kelly Mallon claims the ball ahead of Donegal's Nicole McLaughlin. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Kelly Mallon claims the ball ahead of Donegal's Nicole McLaughlin. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Armagh - C O'Hare; S Marley, C Morgan, S Reel; M Tennyson, T Grimes, B Mackin; C McCambridge, C O'Hanlon; M Moriarity, F McKenna, L McConville; A Mackin, A McCoy, K Mallon. Subs: M Sheridan for Reel (39), M McGuinness for McKenna (44), N Reel for A Mackin (52), S Grey for Marley (60), N Murphy for Mallon (62)

Ref - Brian McCallion (Tyrone)

Donegal players celebrate with the cup after their Ulster Final win over Armagh. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Donegal players celebrate with the cup after their Ulster Final win over Armagh. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

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