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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 24 November 2020
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Kerry crowned Division 1 champions after heavy win over understrength Donegal

Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Neil McGee and Eoghan Ban Gallagher didn’t travel to Tralee.

Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Kerry 2-18

Donegal 0-10

KERRY WERE CROWNED National Football League champions for the 21st time in their history after seeing off an understrength Donegal side in Tralee.

The Kingdom came into today knowing that victory over the Ulster outfit would crown them champions for the first time since 2017, regardless of what happens in the remaining Division 1 games tomorrow.

They were full value for the 14-point winning margin and Peter Keane’s side has very a settled look to it. 

There were outstanding performances from inside forwards Tony Brosnan (0-6) and David Clifford (0-5), who are forming a dangerous partnership as the Munster semi-final against Cork looms on 8 November. 

Donegal open their Ulster campaign next weekend, s0 Declan Bonner gave the day off to key men Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Neil McGee and Eoghan Ban Gallagher ahead of their showdown with Tyrone. He made nine changes in total from last week’s win over Tyrone with just 23 players named in their squad.

For the second week in-a-row, Paddy McBrearty was not part of the matchday panel but he is thought to be nearing full fitness. 

While Donegal left many of their most important players at home, Ciaran Thompson did shine with two frees and three from play.

The idea that the water breaks are a momentum breaker rang true in a major way here. 

Oisin Gallen’s free left Donegal ahead by 0-3 to 0-2 by the first-half water break in a game they were largely controlling. Jason Foley had just been black carded, yet Kerry looked like the side with the extra man for the second quarter.

They posted 2-3 in the next 10 minutes in decisive fashion. With Clifford pulling the strings and Brosnan clipping the scores, they sliced through the Donegal defence. A neat kickpass from Tom O’Sullivan set-up Sean O’Shea for the opening goal in the 17th minute. 

Four minutes later, Gavin White burst through for a sublime finish though he appeared to hop the ball twice in the build-up.   

Donegal scored just twice after half-time as Kerry’s work-rate and defensive shape meant scores were at a premium. Brosnan and Clifford kept the scoreboard ticking over with a brace apiece.

Tommy Walsh arrived off the bench in the second half, winning a free for a score from O’Shea. O’Shea brought his personal tally to 1-4 with one from play and Clifford completed the rout in stoppage-time.

Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea 1-4 (0-2f), Tony Brosnan 0-6 (0-1m), David Clifford 0-5 (0-1f), Gavin White 1-0, Tom O’Sullivan, David Moran and Dara Moynihan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Ciaran Thompson 0-5 (0-2f), Jason McGee and Oisin Gallen (0-1f) 0-2 each, Ciaran McGonagle 0-1.

Kerry

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

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2. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
3. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)
9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

10. Micheal Burns (Dr Crokes)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks)
12. Ronan Buckley (Listry)

13. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)
14. David Clifford (Fossa)
15. Dara Moynihan (Spa)

Subs

Stephen O’Brien for Burns (44)
Jack Barry for Moran (44)
Gavin Crowley for White (55)
Brian O Beaglaoich for Buckley (55)
Tommy Walsh for Moynihan (63)

Donegal

1. Shaun Patton (St Eunan’s)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ardara)
3. Brendan McCole (St Naul’s)
4. Stephen McMenamin (Red Hugh’s)

5. Caolan Ward (St Eunan’s)
6. Eamonn Doherty (St Eunan’s)
7. Dara O Baoil (Gaoth Dobhair)

8. Caolan McGonagle(Buncrana)
9. Jason McGee (Cloughaneely)

19. Andrew McClean (Kilcar)
17. Jean McKelvey (Naomh Conaill)
12. Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill)

13. Jamie Brennan (Realt na Mara)
14. Michael Langan (St Michael’s)
15. Oisin Gallen (Sean Mac Cumhaill’s)

Subs

Peader Mogan for Ward (ht)
Eoin McHugh for McMenamin (46)
Niall O’Donnell for Brennan (51)
Ethan O’Donnell for McGee (51)
Conor O’Donnell for Gallen (63)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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