by Frank Craig
Lauren McGregor bagged another goal while Donegal slipped to a fourth successive Lidl NFL Division 1 loss as Waterford inflicted a 2-9 to 0-7 defeat on their hosts in Letterkenny.
In the end, it was the visitors’ ability to find the back of the net that proved to be the big difference between the sides as Pat Sullivan’s team departed at the midpoint with a 2-3 to 0-4 lead.
Kellyann Hogan and Katie Long were on the mark at either end early on but with Annie Fitzgerald racing through to goal on four minutes, the visitors instantly jumped three ahead.
Hogan bumped that further with a pointed free and things got even better for Waterford when a Hogan free that bounced back off the crossbar was fired home from close range by the lurking McGregor.
On 18 minutes, Brid McMaugh made it an eight-point game when she split the posts from outside the ‘21. Donegal finally stirred once more as Suzanne White landed a free.
Jodie McFadden followed that up with a brilliant effort that brought Maxi Curran’s outfit back in to within six at 2-3 to 0-3. Improving as they went, the hosts almost goaled themselves when Niamh Carr got on the end of a penetrating Amy Boyle Carr run but her shot deflected behind for a ‘45.
Moments later, White also found herself in space in front of the goal but her driven effort was straight at Waterford goalkeeper Evelyn O’Brien, Before the short whistle, Boyle Carr did clear the crossbar for a fourth Donegal point but at the changeover, five points separated the teams.
By the three-quarter hour mark those earlier goals still divided matters on 2-6 to 0-6. Emma Murray and Hogan, with a pair of frees, were on the mark for Waterford while Boyle Carr and White, twice from placed balls, took Donegal’s closing tally to seven for the afternoon.
Down the stretch Waterford’s McMaugh added the last three points for the victors as they got set for the long journey home with three valuable points for company.
Scorers - Waterford: K Hogan 0-4 (4f), B McMaugh 0-4 (2f), A Fitzgerald 1-0, L McGregor 1-0, E Murray 0-1. Donegal: S White 0-3 (3f), A Boyle Carr 0-2, J McFadden 0-1, K Long 0-1.
Waterford: E O’Brien; C Murray, M Dunford, A Murray; E Power, E Murray, H Power; K Hogan, A Waring; Á O’Neill, A Fitzgerald, C McCarthy; Karen McGrath, B McMaugh, L McGregor.
Subs: Kate McGrath for Power (38), K Murray for McCarthy (44), C Hynes for Fitzgerald (55), M Comerford for Hogan (57), N Whelan and A Motherway for McGregor and O’Neill (61), N Power for C Murray (63).
Donegal: A McColgan; N Carr, C Keon, E Gallagher; A Boyle Carr, N McLaughlin, T Hegarty; S Twohig, L Ryan; S Boyle, K Long, K Dowds; J McFadden, S White, C McGarvey.
Subs: C Gillespie for Boyle (38), S McGroddy for McFadden (41), E McGinley for Ryan (44), C Walsh for Long (54), A Temple Asoko for Carr (61).
Ref: Gus Chapman (Sligo).Tweet