Donegal’s eyes on the main prize after victory over Kerry

Ulster champions face Armagh in the quarter-final while Dubs face a date with Kingdom

Donegal’s  Katy Herron in action against Deirdre Kearney of Kerry during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship qualifier  at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Donegal’s Katy Herron in action against Deirdre Kearney of Kerry during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship qualifier at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

 

Donegal manager Maxi Curran says his side are determined to take on and front up against the very best as the Ulster champions aim for their first Brendan Martin Cup.

On Saturday Eilish Ward’s goal was enough to secure a narrow 1-13 to 3-6 victory over Kerry at Dr Hyde Park in Group One of the TG4 Women’s All-Ireland SFC.

It means Donegal bypass a potential meeting with reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin in the next round, but Curran says that was never an issue before the weekend.

“I don’t think that’s what it’s about. You have to take all comers at this stage. We are in an All-Ireland quarter-final,” said Curran.

“If you have realistic ambitions of winning an All-Ireland, which this team does, you have to take on all comers as and when you meet them. Armagh will be no easy game for us.”

Armagh and Donegal will clash next weekend – one of two quarter-finals up for decision – and Fionnuala McAtamney’s side only advanced to the last eight on scoring difference ahead of Monaghan.

Cork were 1-19 to 1-7 winners at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe in the final Group Two clash but that defeat was still enough to ease Armagh through.

“It is difficult to celebrate a loss like that and that’s certainly not what we’re doing but it’s good to be in the next round and we did what we had to do to get there,” said joint-manager McAtamney.

Top the group

Meanwhile, Dublin continue to take aim at back-to-back titles for the first time in their history as they topped Group Four after victory over last year’s runners-up, Mayo.

They already secured the Lidl NFL title this year and goals from Noelle Healy and Nicole Owens helped set up a final eight meeting with Kerry.

Dublin manager Mick Bohan was thrilled with his side’s comfortable 3-11 to 1-8 win over Mayo in the repeat of May’s Lidl Division 1 final.

“We are through and top the group. That was the objective. There were times out there that it was a bit frustrating but we achieved what we came here to do,” said Bohan.

“Can’t wait for the quarter-finals. Two weeks and the knockout games start. That is what we have been preparing for.”

Mayo must regroup now ahead of a huge repeat of the Connacht final against rivals Galway on August 12th.

And Stephen Glennon watched on as his players produced another demolition job in their 6-17 to 1-6 win over Westmeath in Ballinasloe on Saturday.

Despite the loss Westmeath will play Cork in the quarter-finals, but Galway look very dangerous ahead of their clash with Mayo.

“We have expected to play Mayo again if things went to plan we’ll have to knuckle down and prepare well for that one,” said Glennon.

“They’ll be gunning for us but it’d be the same if the shoe was on the other foot. Local rivalry, Galway and Mayo, it’ll be the same as always.”

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