Ladies: McLaughlin the star of Donegal's Ulster success
02 July 2017
Cork's Jess O'Shea with Geraldine McLaughlin of Donegal.
By Alan Gunn
Geraldine McLaughlin fired Donegal to a second TG4 Ulster senior title in three seasons on Sunday afternoon, as Micheal Naughton’s charges claimed a 4-11 to 0-15 victory over Monaghan.
McLaughlin landed 2-6 as Donegal, who won their first provincial senior crown two years ago, claimed the silverware back from last year’s winners.
Donegal went to Monaghan’s Clones back yard and announced themselves as All-Ireland contenders with an impressive five-point win.
Goals proved crucial as McLaughlin scored two, with sidekick Yvonne McMonagle and Roisin Friel also raising green flags for the winners.
In what was a repeat of the 2015 decider, beaten Lidl League Division 1 finalists Donegal emerged victorious again to book an All-Ireland quarter-final spot.
Friel struck for the opening goal on four minutes and when McMonagle flicked home their second ten minutes later, the warning signs were already flashing for Monaghan.
A lethal Donegal forward line meant business while, at the other end, they were also defensively sound.
Ellen McCarron, who finished with eight points, kept Monaghan in touch while the Farney girls also had goalkeeper Linda Martin to thank, for some fine saves.
Monaghan had goal chances of their own but McLaughlin struck approaching half-time and Donegal were 3-5 to 0-9 clear at the break.
McLaughlin bagged her second goal three minutes after the restart and Monaghan were left with a mountain to climb.
Donegal lost Niamh Hegarty to the sin-bin but held tight to the finish.
Monaghan, who had penalty claims waved away when Laura McEnaney appeared to have been fouled, had Gráinne McNally yellow-carded in the second half.
Donegal: A McColgan; T Doherty, E Gallagher, N McLaughlin; T McCafferty, C Hegarty, A McDonnell; K Herron, K Guthrie (0-2f); G Houston (0-1), N Hegarty (0-1), E Ward; R Friel (1-0), G McLaughlin (capt) (2-6, 0-4f), Y McMonagle (1-1). Subs: P McGroarty for R Friel (43), D Foley for A McDonnell (61).
Monaghan: L Martin; R McKenna, J Fitzpatrick, S Coyle; A McAnespie, S Courtney, G McNally; C Courtney (0-1f), E McAnespie; L McEnaney (co-capt), E McCarron (0-8, 0-4f), E McKenna (0-2); C McAnespie (co-capt) (0-2), C Mohan (0-1), R Courtney (0-1) Subs: Rebecca McKenna for S Coyle (43), L Jones for E McKenna (53)
Referee: C Dourneen (Cavan)