Mayo ladies earn All-Ireland quarterfinal spot
Magnificent Mayo claimed top spot in Group 4 of the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football championship with a 1-22 to 3-12 victory over Donegal this afternoon, writes Daire Walsh.
Between them, the outstanding full-forward line of Grace Kelly, Rachel Kearns and Sarah Rowe scored a combined 1-20 to give Peter Leahy’s side a safe passage to the quarterfinals.
Karen Gutherie, with 2-4, and Geraldine McLaughlin, who scored 1-6, led the Donegal resistance, but they miss out on second place in the table to northern rivals Tyrone.
Donegal were leading by 2-6 to 0-10 at the interval and early second-half points significantly improved their prospects. However, a resilient Mayo spectacularly turned the tables on their opponents with a powerful scoring blitz.
Kelly, Kearns and Rowe were rampant as Mayo moved five points clear at 0-21 to 2-10 in the closing quarter.
Kearns’ palmed finish for a goal looked set to ease Mayo over the line until Gutherie pounced for her second in the dying stages.
A square ball denied Gutherie a hat trick with two minutes remaining on the clock and this effectively ended Donegal’s Brendan Martin Cup hopes for 2019.
Mayo: A. Tarpey; N. O’Malley, R. Flynn, Ciara McManamon; D. Caldwell, C. Whyte, E. Ronayne; Clodagh McManamon, D. Finn; S. Cafferky, F. Doherty, N. Kelly (0-1); G. Kelly (0-8), R. Kearns (1-3), S. Rowe (0-9).
Subs used: K. Sullivan, L. Cafferky (0-1), E. Needham, N. Moran.
Donegal: A. McColgan; D. Foley, E. McGinley, K. Keeney; N. Carr, T. Doherty, E. Gallagher; K. Herron, Nicole McLaughlin; N. Boyle, A. Boyle Carr (0-1), Niamh McLaughlin (0-1); G. McLaughlin (1-6), K. Gutherie (2-4), N. Hegarty.
Subs used: S. McGroddy, A.M. McGlynn, M. Ryan.
Ref: S. McNulty (Wicklow).