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Agony for Donegal as in-form Finn points Cork to title

 

By John Campbell

It was a case of so near and yet so far for Donegal in yesterday's rivetting Lidl National Ladies Football League Division One final at Parnell Park, Dublin yesterday.

The Ulster side went neck and neck with their opponents up until the closing moments when two points from player of the match Orla Finn, who scored 1-10 and whose free-taking was immaculate throughout, eased Cork to the title.

For Donegal, the fact that they participated in one of the best games seen in any GAA code for some time will provide little consolation.

Michael Naughton's side offered skill, character and courage above and beyond the call of duty throughout, but in the end it was not quite enough.

Cork, galvanised by a Finn goal in the opening minute, added a second through Eimer Scally and led by 2-8 to 1-9 at the break, Geraldine McLaughlin having netted for Donegal with Yvonne McMonagle and Katie Guthrie leading their points-scoring salvo.

Donegal looked as if they might seize control when Niamh Hegarty pounced for their second goal.

Yet Finn's free-taking was to prove a lethal weapon to which they had no answer and when she potted the last two points of the game she secured yet another league crown for her county.

Cavan, meanwhile, were held to a draw by Westmeath in the Division Two final. Maud-Annie Foley fired over a late point that gave Westmeath a 2-9 score against Cavan's 0-15 with Aishling Doonan hitting seven of the Breffni side's points, five from frees. The replay has been fixed for next Saturday.

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