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Guthrie and McLoughlin contribute 1-10 as Donegal inflict first defeat on Dublin in 11 months

Karen Guthrie and Geraldine McLoughlin were the key attackers for Maxi Curran’s side.

Nicole Owens takes on Nicole McLaughlin.
Nicole Owens takes on Nicole McLaughlin.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Donegal 1-11

Dublin 1-7

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

DUBLIN FELL TO their first competitive defeat in almost 11 months after Donegal came away deserving winners of this Lidl National Football League Division 1 opener at Croke Park.

The reigning league and All-Ireland champions last suffered a loss to Galway in the league in March 2018. They were, however, missing a host of regulars including All-Stars Sinead Goldrick, Noelle Healy and Footballer of the Year Sinead Aherne. 

Mick Bohan was in experimental mode and ran in 10 substitutes in the 65-odd minutes, but that shouldn’t take away from a very strong Donegal performance.

Player of the match Karen Guthrie and Geraldine McLoughlin fired in 1-10 between them on a night where the Donegal attack looked extremely lively, particularly in the first period.

Dublin started with eight members of their All-Ireland team but there were clear signs of rust on their first outing since September. The absence of regular free-taker Aherne was keenly felt with a number of missed placed balls.

Lyndsey Davey celebrates scoring a goal Lyndsey Davey celebrates her goal. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Carla Rowe failed to score from three free attempts before Nicole Owens assumed the mantle and dropped two short.  She eventually converted Dublin’s first placed ball of the day in the 36th minute.

At the far end, Donegal had McLaughlin in her usual accurate form in front of the posts. She sent over six points in total, five from frees, as Donegal continually punished Dublin’s fouling at the back.

Donegal boss Maxi Curran, who worked under Jim McGuinness and Rory Gallagher with the men’s team in the past, is in his second year in charge. He set up with two inside forwards – Karen Guthrie and Ciara Grant, withdrawing Megan Ryan as a third midfielder.

With Niamh Hegarty pulling the strings at centre-forward, Donegal hit the net inside the opening two minutes. Hegarty picked out the incisive run of Guthrie with a brilliant diagonal pass and the latter planted the ball past Ciara Trant. 

Guthrie had 1-3 from play on the board by half-time and might have added to her tally had it not been for All-Star Trant between the posts.

Rowe was Dublin’s best player in the opening period and clipped over two points, but they went in 1-5 to 0-5 behind at the break. 

Donegal added five of the first seven scores after the break to surge seven clear.

Owens fired over a brace for Dublin and key forward Lyndsey Davey was sprung from the bench in the 42nd minute. By the 44th, Davey had the ball in the net to leave Dublin four behind.

But Donegal’s defence held firm in the final quarter and a final score from Guthrie sealed the win in style.

Scorers for Donegal: Karen Guthrie 1-4, Geraldine McLaughlin 0-6 (0-5f) and Ciaran Grant 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Lyndsey Davey 1-0, Carla Rowe and Nicole Owens (0-1f) 0-2 each, Niamh McEvoy, Siobhan Woods and Aoife Kane 0-1 each.

Donegal

1. Aislin Nee (St Eunan’s)

4. Evelyn McGinley (Cloughaneely)
2. Tara Hegarty (Moville)
3. Emer Gallagher (Termon)

5. Treasa Doherty (Camgonagh)
8. Katy Herron (Glenfin)
7. Niamh Carr (Milford)

6. Nicole McLaughlin (Termon)
9. Niamh Boyle (St Nuala’s)

12. Amy Boyle Carr (Naomh Conaill)
11. Niamh Hegarty (Moville)
14. Megan Ryan (Milford)

13. Geraldine McLaughlin (Termon)

15. Ciara Grant (Na Fianna)
10. Karen Guthrie (Glenfin)

Subs

23. Nicole Gordon (Urris) for McGinley (46)
24. Shannon McGroddy (Na Dunaibh) for Carr (55) 
17. Roisin Friel (Termon) for Grant (59)

Dublin

1. Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s)

2. Martha Byrne (Cuala)
3. Niamh Collins (Foxrock Cabinteely)

6. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis)

5. Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. Sarah Fagan (Clontarf)
4. Emma McDonagh (Foxrock Cabinteely)

8. Jennifer Dunne (Cuala)
9. Siobhan McGrath (Thomas Davis)

13. Siobhan Woods (Raheny
15. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s)
10.Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire)

14. Nicole Owens (St Sylvester’s)
19. Kate Sullivan (St Sylvester’s)
18. Siobhan Killeen (Clontarf)

Subs

21. Ciaran McGuigan (Thomas Davis ) for McEvoy (17)
29. Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes) for Fagan (ht)
17. Rachel Ruddy (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for McDonagh (ht)
30. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps) for Killeen (42)
24. Niamh Hetherton (Clontarf) for Dunne (47)
20. Laura Carolin (Castleknock) for Sullivan (50)
11. Kate Fitzgibbon (Contarf) for Kane (51)
28. Orlagh Nolan (Ballinteer St John’s) for McGuigan (55)
26. Lucy Collins (Na Fianna) for Woods (58)
12. Eabha Ruthledge (Kilmacud Crokes) for Owens (64)

Referee: Niall McCormack (Laois)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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