Ladies GAA: Donegal lose to Cork to miss out on a first All-Ireland final appearance

Donegal's Geraldine McLaughlin
Geraldine McLaughlin was Donegal's leading scorer with five points

Donegal were denied a first appearance in a Ladies All-Ireland final as Cork used their greater experience to emerge from their semi-final at Dr. Hyde Park.

Goals by Orla Finn and Saoirse Noonan earned a 2-11 to 0-11 victory to secure Cork's 12th final in 14 years.

Donegal's Geraldine McLaughlin scored five points but the Ulster side could not upset the 11-time champions.

Cork will now contest the Brendan Martin Cup against Dublin on 16 September at Croke Park.

Donegal fired nine goals past Armagh to clinch the Ulster title in June but Maxi Curran's team adopted a defensive approach at Hyde Park in an attempt to restrict a heavily-fancied Cork side.

The Donegal tactics appeared to frustrate the Munster champions until mid-way through the first half when a powerful run by Cork captain Ciara O'Sullivan ended with Finn punching the ball into an empty net to help her side into a 1-6 to 0-5 lead at the interval.

McLaughlin and Karen Guthrie, who finished the game with four points, continued to keep Donegal in contention and they had a chance to force an equaliser with just five minutes remaining when Sarah Jane McDonald's goal-bound effort was superbly blocked by Eimear Meaney.

Cork responded by scoring their second goal, with O'Sullivan again the provider, as Noonan fired home a powerful shot to secure victory.

In the second semi-final at Hyde Park, reigning champions Dublin overwhelmed Galway by 4-08 to 1-10 to set-up a fourth All-Ireland decider between Cork and Dublin in the past five years.

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