Donegal ladies nailed three crucial points to the Lidl NFL Division 1 board as Maxi Curran's side eased their relegation worries with this win in Ballyshannon at the expense of Division 1 leaders Cork.

Geraldine McLaughlin's personal tally of 1-05 went a long way to ensuring that the Tir Chonaill girls prevailed.

They opened in good fashion thanks to a Geraldine McLaughlin free, although Cork, with the aid of the breeze, responded with three points on the bounce thanks to Sadhbh O'Leary, Saoirse Noonan and Orla Finn (free).

But the game turned on its head after 21 minutes, when Donegal turned a two-point deficit into a lead when Amy Boyle Carr goaled for the home side.

Things got better again for Donegal when moved into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead with Geraldine McLaughlin on target for the second time in the contest. But at the other end Cork, too, had their own sharp-shooter and Finn cut the gap in half with another free from the hands.

Before the midpoint both sides traded points as usual suspect Geraldine McLaughlin clipped a free for Donegal and Cork’s Finn added another for Ephie Fitzgerald’s side, which meant the Ulster side led 1-3 to 0-5 at half time.

Geraldine McLaughlin and Finn picked up where they'd left off on the resumption with two more converted frees as this game looked likely to go down to the wire.

But the big score arrived on 38 minutes when Geraldine McLaughlin tore through the middle and hammered a brilliant goal low and into the bottom corner of the net to give her side some comfort.

Termon forward Geraldine McLaughlin and Finn added to their personal hauls before the end while Donegal substitute Niamh Hegarty brought the curtain down for the winners as they claimed a vital second win of the competition to move off the bottom of the table. 

Donegal: D McElhinney; AM Logue, E Gallagher, D Foley; N Carr, R Rodgers, N Boyle; N McLaughlin, E McGinley; A Boyle Carr (1-00), G McLaughlin (1-05, 0-03f), K Ward; N Gordon, E McCroary, C Sharkey.

Subs: N Hegarty (0-01) for McCroary (45), N McLaughlin for Gordon (51).

Cork: C Moore; S Kelly, M Ambrose, C O'Callaghan; L O'Mahony, M Duggan, A Hutchings; M O’Callaghan, B O’Sullivan; O Farmer, A O'Sullivan, A O'Mahony; S O'Leary (0-01), S Noonan (0-01), O Finn (0-06, 0-06f).

Subs: L Cleary for Noonan (45), M Calahane for O'Mahony (45), E Cleary for Ambrose (49), C O'Shea for Farmer (53), S Hayes for Duggan (58).

Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo).