All-Star Duggan fires Meath to second win on the bounce as Donegal get the better of Westmeath
Ladies Football Division 1A Result
Donegall 2-11 Westmeath 2-6
Ladies Football Division 1B Result
Meath 1-10 Waterford 1-2
Reporting by Tomás McCarthy and Aisling Clery
TG4 ALL-STAR Emma Duggan scored 0-6 from play as Meath made it two wins from two with victory over Waterford in Division 1B of the Lidl National Football League at a windswept Dungarvan.
Waterford made life difficult for the defending TG4 All-Ireland champions but Eamonn Murray’s side finished strongly to take the spoils and advance to the next round. 2021 Player of the Year Vikki Wall found the net early while Duggan delivered three points in both halves.
The match was switched to the Dungarvan GAA Grounds as Fraher Field was deemed unplayable but strong gusts still swept across the field throughout.
Meath looked strong as they took to the field with 12 of the team that beat Dublin in the All-Ireland final last September. And the visitors raced into a 1-2 to 0-0 lead after eight minutes. Wall found the top corner of the net after she was set up by Aoibhin Cleary.
But Waterford got back on level terms by the first water break. Lauren McGregor fired to the bottom corner from the penalty spot on ten minutes. Bríd McMaugh and Kate McGrath kicked the points to make it 1-2 to 1-2.
At the start of the second quarter, Duggan showed her All-Star quality with back-to-back points. The first was a stunning effort off the outside of her right boot. She judged the wind to perfection with the second as her high kick drifted over the bar.
It was 1-4 to 1-2 in favour of Meath at half-time and the wind whipped up again afterwards. Meath substitute Emma White struck the only point of the third quarter.
And another impact substitute, Niamh Gallogly, added the next point on 46 minutes. Duggan dispatched three late scores to wrap up the win before Orlagh Lally got in on the act too.
Elsewhere, Karen Guthrie scored two first half goals as Donegal overcame a defiant Westmeath in Division 1A of the Lidl National Football League at St Loman’s.
Guthrie hit 2-4 over the hour and while Westmeath did score goals courtesy of Áine Gaynor and Anna Jones, they didn’t manage to build on that and Donegal’s composure ensured them a second win.
It was the visitors who made the better start when Guthrie scored her first goal after just six minutes. But Westmeath’s reply was instant as Sarah Dillon scored on the resumption.
Donegal retained the upper hand however and when Bláthnaid McLaughlin rescued the ball from the end line, Guthrie found the net for a second time.
Anna Jones and Guthrie swapped frees before Susanne White pointed to hand Maxi Curran’s side a 2-2 to 0-2 lead at the water break.
Westmeath enjoyed more possession in the second quarter and they reduced the deficit to four with Ciara Blundell and Dillon on target.
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Guthrie scored a free but Westmeath upped it a gear and Donegal turned defensive with Niamh McLaughlin back deep in her own half where she conceded a 45. That was taken by Jones and she sent it in high before Gaynor timed her movement to perfection and finished to the net. Jones and Guthrie swapped points but Donegal took a two-point lead into half-time.
Donegal opened the second half brightly and three Susanne White points, two of which came from frees, pushed the visitors into a more comfortable lead.
Against a swirling wind, Dillon scored her third point of the game to leave four points between them at the second water break. With both teams making substitutions, Westmeath kept running at the Donegal defence and on 51 minutes they were rewarded.
Jones got on the end of an exquisite pass from Blundell and rifled the second goal to leave the minimum separating the sides.
However, disaster struck for Westmeath when Tracey Dillon was sin-binned and when Guthrie converted the resulting free there was no going back for the home side.
Katy Herron was introduced and her two points along with a Niamh McLaughlin effort ensured Maxi Curran’s troops earned their second victory of the 2022 campaign.
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