FOOTBALL: Donegal 3-19 Cavan 1-11 – TG4 Ulster Senior Semi-Final
From Alan Foley at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones (Susanne White of Donegal after scoring her side’s second goal. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile)
Susanne White was a last minute introduction to the Donegal side that took on Cavan in the semi-final of the TG4 Ulster Ladies Football Championship – and she took the opportunity with both hands.
With Karen Guthrie ruled out, Donegal manager Maxi Curran gave White the nod and by half-time the Killybegs forward had scored two goals, which helped her side lead 2-10 to 0-6 at the break, before Yvonne Bonner added another goal in the second half.
In the Clones sunshine, it was 0-2 to 0-2 when White netted her first goal on ten minutes, slamming into an open goal after an ambitious Niamh McLaughlin lob had crashed down off the crossbar when she pinched a kick-out from Elaine Walsh.
Then, four minutes later, White grabbed her second goal with a fine finish across Walsh, when she was found on the right of the Cavan square by Yvonne Bonner, for a 2-4 to 0-3 Donegal lead.
TG4 All Star Geraldine McLaughlin posted five first half points for Donegal, with two points apiece from Aisling Gilsenan and Lauren McVeety for Cavan.
Cavan have traditionally proven to be difficult opponents for Donegal, with the Breffni County running into a 1-5 to 0-1 lead at the same stage last year, before Maxi Curran’s side found their shooting boots to run out winners on a 6-16 to 2-17 scoreline. In 2019, Donegal came through after extra-time.
White continued her fine form in the second half, shooting two more points – the second of which came after a flowing move. After 41 minutes, Donegal were 2-14 to 0-8 ahead.
Donegal’s third goal came 15 minutes into the second half, with Bonner taking on a pass from Geraldine McLaughlin when Walsh tried to find the wing. Cavan pulled a goal back a minute later from a penalty by McVeety before Walsh turned a dipping effort from skipper Niamh McLaughlin onto the inside of the post in the last minute, with the ball coming back along the line. Donegal will face Armagh, who have won the last two Ulsters, in the final.
Donegal scorers: G McLaughlin 0-9, 6f; S White 2-3; Y Bonner 1-4; N Hegarty, K Herron and E McCrory 0-1 each.
Cavan scorers: A Gilsenan 0-3, 2f; L McVeety 1-3, 1-0 pen, 3f; G Smith 0-2, N Keenaghan, A Cahill and A Walls 0-1.
Donegal: R McCafferty; N Carr, E McGinley, N Boyle; T Kennedy, Nicole McLaughlin, A Boyle Carr; K Herron, N McLaughlin; Y Bonner, N Hegarty, S Twohig; B McLaughlin, S White, G McLaughlin.
Subs: S McFadden for Boyle (39), E McCrory, D Foley and T Hegarty for Carr, Herron and Twohig (54), K Long for B McLaughlin (57)
Cavan: E Walsh; R Doonan, S Lynch, Z Fay; S Greene, L Fitzpatrick, E Halton; M Sheridan, N Byrd; N Keenaghan, L McVeety, A Gilseanan; G Sheridan, A Reilly, G Smith.
Subs: A Cahill and K McIntyre for Fay and Reilly (half-time), A Walls for Keenaghan (49), K McLaughlin for Sheridan (56), E Longair for Halton (57)
Referee: Brendan Rice (Down)