Kerry v Donegal Preview.

Lidl Ladies National Football League Division One Round 3 Preview .

High flying Donegal travel to Rathmore next Sunday to take on the Kerry ladies in Round 3 of the Lidl National Football League Division One. Donegal travel with 2 wins out of 2, having defeated Armagh on a 4-10 to 0-11 scoreline in Round 1 and Galway by 2-10 to 1-12 in Round 2.  In contrast Kerry come into the game on the back of 2 defeats, a 5-17 to 1-11 hiding from Cork in Mallow followed by a 0-8 to 1-8 defeat to Dublin in Castleisland last weekend.

To be fair to Kerry the game against Cork came after just 3 weeks preparation with a new management team. You don’t go into Cork’s back yard and expect a result in such circumstances, and indeed the Cork ladies were merciless in putting Kerry to the sword that day. Manager Graham Shine learnt from the defeat and with 11 positional changes for the game against Dublin, the Kerry ladies gave a much improved performance against last year’s All Ireland finalists. Indeed if it wasn’t for some very wayward shooting (Kerry shot 12 wides) there is no doubt that they would have emerged victorious.

Donegal are back in top tier league football once more having won the Division Two title very impressively last year. They have adjusted to the higher level quite easily and will travel to Rathmore with confidence after their 2 wins. Geraldine McLaughlin is very much their star player, the full forward contributed 1-5 against Galway in the last round and scored the winning point in injury time. Roisin Friel and Niamh Hegarty will also have to be watched, Kaneisha McKinney and Katy Heron are a formidable midfield pairing ,while Nicole McLaughlin is a dynamic figure at centre half back.

It is likely that Shine will make some personnel changes to the Kerry side for next Sundays game. Megan O’Connell, who missed the game in Castleisland ,is likely to come back into the team and there is also the possibility of Shine having a look at a couple of new players as he strives to find the winning formula. He will be hoping that players like Aislinn Desmond, Lorraine Scanlon, Emma Sherwood, Amanda Brosnan and Anna Galvin continue with the good form that they have shown in the first 2 league games.

Kerry have failed to score a goal in the league so far. This lack of penetration has to be a concern to the Kerry management as you will rarely win games at this level without them. In contrast Donegal have struck 6 in their last couple of games, including 4 against Armagh ,so their goal scoring opportunities will certainly have to be curtailed. In fairness the Kerry defence looked very solid against Dublin, having endured a torrid time against Cork .The positional changes certainly worked from that point of view with the more defensive structure of the lineup making it much more difficult to penetrate the Kerry backline. Shine will be hoping for more of the same on Sunday.

If Kerry take their chances and stop Donegal from scoring goals there is every possibility that they will win. Sounds simple doesn’t it! Kerry to win by 2.

Kerry v Donegal in Rathmore on Sunday at 1pm.