BY CHRIS MCNULTY
MILFORD’S Amber Barrett is set for a return to action tomorrow when the Donegal Minor Ladies team face Cavan in the Ulster Minor ‘A’ Football Championship final in Ballyconnell (throw-in 1pm).
Barrett has not featured too much for the side having been out of action due to her soccer commitments with the Republic of Ireland – but the talented all-rounder is back in the firing line again for the final.
A player of her refinement will be a major boost for Donegal as they bid to recapture this title and continue the good production line of underage ladies footballers. Barrett is one of the outstanding players in the county and is one of four players in this squad also featuring in the senior ladies panel of Hughie Molloy.
This minor squad also includes Shanon McGroddy, Rose Boyle and Roisin Curran. It is perhaps no surprise that these are among the important players for new minor ladies manager Ann-Marie Gibbons, who has guided the squad to a final in their first year in charge.
Having come through a three-team group, Donegal are up against a Cavan side whom they have already faced this year.
A few weeks back in Breffni Park, goals were key as Donegal scored a 4-11 to 1-11 win.
Sarah-Jame McDonald of Moville had one of those days when everything went right, scoring 2-3. St Eunan’s player Sadbha Medler hit 1-2 with Curran from Cloughaneely also helping herself to 1-2.
In their first game on Easter Monday, the Donegal girls defeated Tyrone by six points, 2-13 to 2-7, at Pairc Taobhoige in Glenfin.
Other key players so far have been Caoimhe McMenamin (MacCumhaills), Maeve Liston (Aodh Ruadh) and Kathy McLaughlin (Moville).
“We have been playing well and our work and preparation for the final has been good,” said Ann-Marie Gibbons.
“This will be a big game for them and there’s a lot at stake. Our win in the group against Cavan won’t mean too much this weekend. We were short a few players and they were too.
“We have to treat this as a new game, a different game – hopefully we’ll be able to come through it and take the cup back to Donegal.”
Donegal Minor Ladies panel: Karen Ward (Glenfin), Aideen Meehan (Dungloe), Maeve Liston (Aodh Ruadh), Kaneshia McKinney (St Eunan’s), Jade O’Donnell (Naomh Mhuire), Niamh Carr (Milford), Rose Boyle (St Eunan’s), Roisin Curran (Cloughaneely), Emer Lafferty (Muff), Aine McLaughlin (Muff), Blathnaid McLaughlin (Moville), Lauren O’Connell (St Eunan’s), Kathy McLaughlin (Moville), Sadhba Medlar (St Eunan’s), Erica Hanna (Naomh Mhuire), Ciara Gallagher (Convoy), Orla McAteer (Milford), Aine Hanlon (Dungloe), Shannon McDonald (Moville), Gemma Glackin (MacCumhaills), Ellen Muldoon (MacCumhaills), Caroline Sharkey (Naomh Mhuire), Caoimhe McMenamin (MacCumhaills), Sarah Allan (Convoy), Shannon McGroddy (Milford), Evelyn McGinley (St Michael’s), Nadia McGee (Convoy), Amber Barrett (Milford), Sinead Hession (St Eunan’s), Sarah Jane McDonald (Moville).
Manager: Ann Marie Gibbons.
Coaches: Maggie Foy, Katie Foy, Siobhan Coyle, Karen O’Loughlin, Marie O’Loughlin.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.