Donegal win Ulster title in convincing style

Donegal Ladies gaelic footballers are celebrating after landing the county's first Ulster A title in nine years at the weekend.

The U16s stunned favourites Cavan in Augher, Co Tyrone, on Saturday with a comprehensive 4-10 to 0-05 win.

Both sides were involved in a tremendous - and often nervous - battle in the first half.

However the Donegal girls were never behind and went into the lead through a goal from Naomh Padraig Muff's Megan Havlin, before she added a second soon after.

Donegal led 2-01 to 0-04 at the break.

When Megan Ryan (Milford) added a point straight from the throw-in at the start of the second half, Donegal never looked back.

Havlin added two more goals, with Ryan shooting three more times over the bar with points also from joint captain Niamh Walsh (St Eunan's), Niamh McDonald (Moville), Niamh Harkin (St Eunan's) and Caoimhe Keon (Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon).

The Donegal defence was in outstanding form marshalled by joint captain Ellie Barron (St Mary's Convoy) with superb performances from Aisling McLaughlin (N Padraig Muff), Leah Gallen (MacCumhaills), Roisin Rodgers (Naomh Muire), Blathnait Gallagher (Glenswilly), and Eimear Alcorn (Termon).

The defence, supported by half forwards Harkin, McDonald and Laoise Ryan (St Eunan's) conceded just a single point in the second half, while Katie Long (Glenfin) hit a number of superb passes to set up both goals and points.

Subs Leeza Cunningham (N Columba Glencolmcille), Megann Ferry (Milford), Helena McGee (Cloughaneely), Danielle McGinley (Glenfin) and the brilliant Aoife Greene (St Naul's) all helped the team to victory in the second half.

It was the first time since 2009 that a Donegal underage ladies gaelic team has landed an Ulster A title.

Cavan, bolstered by players from the All-Ireland winning Loreto Cavan school team, had been hot favourites to retain their title.

Manager Greg Harkin said: "I'm very proud of every girl on the panel, all of whom played through the Championship this year and got us to the final stage.

"This is a significant breakthrough for a Donegal underage side. We had a brilliant backroom team with Aodh Ruadh's Barry Ward and Convoy's Lorena Barron - and Joanne McKenna from Glenfin who won the same trophy as the Donegal U16 captain back in 1993."

Donegal will play in an All-Ireland semi-final on Wednesday July 4 with the opposition still to be confirmed.