They were up against the mighty Armagh and this was a rerun of last year’s final, when the Orchard ladies beat our ladies by an overwhelming margin of 28 shots.
Armagh ladies have lifted the trophy six times and, on current form, the pundits considered it would be a major upset if they failed to add to the total.
The Armagh side was laden with talent including five-time ladies single champion, Pauline Beattie, her mother, May Cassells, Catherine McMillen and Flo McNally and Donegal faced a daunting task.
Fortunately, Donegal did not read the script the pundits wrote and set off on the team coach with steely determination to write their own script.
In the first half, on mat one, D Montgomery, Ruby Graham, M McClintock and M Montgomery did not match their previous campaign form and went down by 13 shots to 4 shots to a very good rink skipped by Armagh’s E Smyth.
On mat three, S Bell, L O’Kane, P Eaton-Friel and A Gilfillan had a tight battle with Armagh’s M Cassells and came out with a creditable win of 10 shots to 9 shots.
However, the fireworks were occurring on mat two where P Lyttle, K Duggan, L Finlay and V Patterson were in overdrive against the unfortunate Armagh’s D Marshall running out 17 shots to 2 shots winners after the 10 ends.
This left Donegal going into the second half with a 7 shots advantage but with uncomfortable feeling of the spectre of Pauline Beattie looming.
However, M Beattie, R Hamilton, J Buchanan and Inishowen’s Elizabeth Doherty dug their heels in to ensure the Pauline was only one shot ahead after 8 ends.
On mat two, T Jacob, S Finlay, I Duncan and R McDonnell were turning the screw on Armagh’s F McNally, building up an 18 shots to 3 shots lead and on mat one S Alexander, A McClintock, P Bustard and R Crawford were causing Armagh’s C McMillan all sorts of grief by winning 13 shots 3 shots.
By winning by 67 shots to 36 shots with two ends unplayed, Donegal certainly gained revenge for last year’s rout and can now be proud of their efforts on behalf of the county.
Just look at the smiles on those faces.
It says it all.