Donegal boss frustrated by stop-start nature of league

By Niall Gartland

THE stop-start nature of the Ladies National League programme is something that frustrates new Donegal boss John McNulty.

The Donegal ladies have had a reasonably good campaign so far with two wins, a draw and a defeat after four matches as they gear up for an important clash against an in-form Tyrone side at Ballybofey this weekend.

McNulty’s side will have had a fortnight’s break since their last match, a draw against Monaghan, and face another two weeks without a competitive game once they scratch off their match against Tyrone.

Their manager is concerned that it prevents his players from picking up a head of steam: “I like when the games come thick and fast. We’ve another two weeks off after the Tyrone game and I know the arguments in favour of rest, but put it this way, the next time we’ll be out will be away to Cavan on St Patrick’s Day. There’s no need for it when the girls could be at home enjoying themselves with their family.”

While Kildare have been the stand-out team in Division Two, the Red Hands aren’t far behind having won three of their four matches to date. Donegal were relegated from the top flight last season but they have lost many experienced heads, so they’re doing rightly but McNulty recognises that they could really do with a win over Tyrone if they’re to push for a promotion berth in the closing rounds.

“Tyrone are going well and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be with talented players like Maria Canavan and Chloe McCaffrey, they’ve really good forwards. As a team they’re good on the ball, making good decisions and I’m not surprised they’re going well.

“It’s a big game for us in the overall scheme of things, we could do with another win to stay in the promotion hunt. But at the same time we’re rebuilding a team at the moment so getting a performance is always big for me. If the result doesn’t go our way but we can see the things we’re working on in training come to the fore on match-day then we take plenty of positives from that.”

McNulty was disappointed that they could only muster a draw on their last day out against Monaghan, and he was particularly annoyed with the officiating.

“We played well at times. I don’t like to give out about the referee but I thought he was atrocious, he gave them a penalty for a footblock and it was no footblock at all. We were disappointed come out of that game as we felt we’d done enough to win it but you just have to get on with things.”

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