THE Donegal Minor Ladies team will secure a spot in the Ulster Championship semi-final if they see off Cavan in Mountcharles on Saturday at 3pm.
James McGinley’s side got their round-robin campaign off to a superb start when they travelled to Tyrone two weeks ago, and hammered the Red Hands on enemy territory.
Donegal didn’t have a game last week, but a number of their players did feature for the senior side who lost to Galway down in Corofin.
While they were well beaten on the day, that experience should stand to them as they gear up for a clash with the Breffni county.
“Things have been going well for us,” said McGinley.
“We had a good win against Tyrone, and we’re looking to push on now.
“We had two very good training sessions last week and we will be hoping for the same again this time.
“Megan (Ryan) and Amy (Boyle Carr) both started down in Galway for the seniors last week, and Megan scored a point.
“There were two more players from our panel – Kate McClenaghan and Niamh McDonald – who made their senior debuts, while Megan Ferry and Lauren Carr were part of the subs.
“They didn’t get the result they wanted, but they will take a lot of confidence from it, and they will learn plenty every time they are up with the seniors.”
Like Donegal, Cavan recorded an impressive opening day win in the Ulster Ladies Minor Championship, and they are a highly-rated team.
“Cavan beat Antrim by 3-11 to 2-5 in their first game.
“They are a very strong athletic team, and they have a brilliant player in Lauren McVeety, who plays at centre half-back.
“They also have two very good midfielders in Caoimhe Madden and Kayla Brady, who was involved in the Irish Soccer underage set-up for a while.
“They are favourites to win the minor championship and are going for back-to-back titles.
“Donegal managed to beat them in the Under 16 final last year, but Cavan have been very competitive over the last three or four years, and they will be no pushovers.”
Donegal have been putting in the hard work on the training ground at St Columba’s, Stranorlar, and McGinley will have a few selection headaches this week.
“We’re in decent shape. Ellie Barron has been struggling a bit, but we had a few players – Eimear Alcorn, Niamh Skelly, and Mary Martin – who were carrying knocks going into the Tyrone game, and they are getting back to full fitness this week.
“We should have our full squad more or less for the game.”
Donegal have built up momentum from that opening day win over Tyrone, and while there will be another chance to make the last four if they lose in Mountcharles, McGinley and his team are targeting qualification this Saturday.
“We need one win from our remaining two games to get through to the semi-finals.
“We will definitely be looking to get that this week against Cavan.
“After beating Tyrone two weeks ago, our confidence is high, and we’re on the front foot now.
“We’re looking to carry that into Saturday’s match, and we will be ready for a good tough game with Cavan.”