Karen Gutherie steered Donegal Ladies to victory against Westmeath Ladies on Saturday afternoon as Maxi Curran’s side returned to winning ways in Letterkenny.
Report by Charlie Collins at O’Donnell Park
Photos by North West Newspix
Westmeath opened the scoring with a Leanne Slevin free in the 9th minute, while Fiona Claffey continued the visitors impressive start a minute later with a point from play.
Maxi Curran’s Donegal had to wait until the 15th minute for their opening score – Karen Guthrie holding off two tacklers before tapping over.
Two minutes later and a goal chance presented itself for Donegal as Niamh Hegarty’s blocked effort fell to Nicole McLaughlin, whose shot didn’t have the power to beat Lauren McCormack.
Two minutes later the sides were level as Karen Guthrie won possession and kicked a cracker from 35 metres to level it up at 0-2 points apiece.
In response, Westmeath then had a goal chance when Fiona Claffey, who got through but mis-controlled before she could finish and when her pass found Leanne Slevin her lobbed effort fell just wide, a let-off for Donegal.
The home side responded well and Karen Guthrie showed her class with three points in a row, the first from a free and then two excellent scores from open play in injury-time to leave it 0-05 to 0-02 at the break.
The reply from Donegal meant Westmeath had gone 24 minutes without scoring after those two early points in the opening ten minutes.
In the second half, Amy Boyle Carr put Donegal four in front after 32 minutes, but that proved to be the only score of the opening fifteen minutes before Donegal struck a vital blow.
Great integrate played between Karen Guthrie and Kathy Herron, who exchanged passes to create an opening before Guthrie took the return and found Shannon McGroddy who hammered the ball past McCormack to make it 1-06 to 0-03 in Donegal’s favour.
Megan Ryan added a point but when Johanna Maher drilled home a Westmeath it was back to a four-point game 1-07 to 1-03.
Karen Guthrie knocked over her sixth point but Leanne Slevin kicked over another free to set up an exciting finish.
However, Donegal just held on to return to winning ways after that heavy defeat in Cork last week.
DONEGAL LADIES: Aoife Mc Colgan, Anne Maire McGlynn, Emer Gallagher, Evelyn Mc Ginley, Teresa Doherty, Nicole McLaughlin, Niamh Carr, Kathy Herron, Niamh Boyle, Karen Guthrie, Niamh Hegarty, Amy Boyle-Carr, Sinead McGinty, Megan Ryan, Roisin Friel.
DONEGAL SUBS: Shannon McGroddy for McGinty (h-t), Tara Hegarty for Emer Gallagher (52mins) Ciara Grant for Friel (55mins).
DONEGAL SCORERS: Karen Guthrie (0 -06), Amy Boyle-Carr 0-01) Megan Ryan (0-01) Shannon Mc Groddy (1-00).
WESTMEATH LADIES: Lauren McCormack, Rachel Dillon, Jennie Rogers, Fiona Coyle, Kelly Boyce-Jordan, Karen McDermott, Aoife O Malley, Fiona Claffey, Johanna Maher, Chloe Kelly, Laura Brennan, Leanne Slevin, Karen Hegarty, Jess Hennessy, Sarah Dolan.
WESTMEATH SUBS: Annie Dolan for Hennessey (25mins), Ashley Ruane for Slevin (29mins), Slevin for Kelly (h-t), Hennessey for Dolan (49mins) Niamh Mc Dermott for Brennan (52mins), Megan Brick for Ruane (54mins).
WESTMEATH SCORERS: Leanne Slevin (0 – 03f), Fiona Claffey (0 – 01), Johanna Maher (1-00).
REFEREE: Mel Kenny (Mayo).Tags: