Maxi Curran hits at the “end of an era” in Donegal

By Daire Walsh

DONEGAL Ladies’ manager Maxi Curran said it was “probably the end of an era” after his side bowed out at the hands of All-Ireland champions Meath in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final

Niamh McLaughlin’s penalty had Donegal 1-3 to 0-3 head at the break, but a Meath stormed back into the game after the break.

The Royals had Emma Duggan to thank for her stellar performance in the final quarter and Curran knew it was a chance missed.

“It’s probably the end of an era, alright. Nobody will probably be making a decision in the next day or two but it’s probably getting close to it,” said Curran, who had seven players on show with over 100 appearances for the county.

“We had a period of dominance in the first half, where we had the lion’s share of possession. We kicked some wides and some short, and maybe ran into some blocks.

“Compare that to the Meath at the start of the second half, where they scored six points. That was crucial for them and that’s probably the biggest difference in the two teams.

“They got their scores when they were on top and we didn’t. We had our periods, no doubt about it. Then when they got their noses in front, they’re always going to be hard to reel in at that point.”

Meath manager Eamonn Murray says his side had unleashed their best football of 2022 to qualify for a second successive decider.

It was another thrilling semi-final and Emma Duggan blitzed Donegal in the closing stages to send the reigning champions back to Croke Park on 31 July.

Meath had already beaten Donegal in the Lidl NFL Division 1 final earlier this year and it looked to be going down to the wire until Meath dug it out again, just like they did in the quarter-final against Galway.

“There’s no point in winning the league by 20 points and losing today. We’ve timed our run to perfection,” said Murray.

“That’s two weeks in a row. And this time last year we were six points down against Cork and we came back. Today was another nail-biter.

“When we lost Máire O’Shaughnessy we put six points up on the board. It’s unbelievable. That’s our best football that we played all year.”

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