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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Key McHugh goal, bizarre Kildare sending-off over gumshield incident and Donegal claim first league win

Kildare netted three times but still lost in Ballyshannon.

Daniel Flynn scored the opening goal of the game for Kildare.
Daniel Flynn scored the opening goal of the game for Kildare.

Donegal 1-15
Kildare 3-7

Alan Foley reports from Ballyshannon

DONEGAL GOT THEIR first points of the Allianz League Division 1 with a come from behind victory over Kildare at Ballyshannon this afternoon.

The side managed by Declan Bonner had a somewhat fortuitous goal from Ryan McHugh five minutes from time when his lofted ball into the square deceived Mark Donnellan in the trickiest of breezes and nestled in the top corner.

Kildare, who had to play 54 minutes with 14 men, can certainly wonder what might’ve been. The dismissal of Eoin Doyle was unconventional.

Having been booked two minutes beforehand for a foul on Ryan McHugh, Doyle was instructed by match referee David Gough to insert a gumshield.

But as the centre-back ran toward his bench to request a spare, he instinctively fielded a kick-out from the unawares Donnellan and was handed a second yellow and subsequent red.

Kildare’s abilities to cut Donegal open down the middle was a feature. Daniel Flynn’s goal was the first score of the game on six minutes, following some direct running and approach play from Ben McCormack and Tommy Moolick.

They should’ve added a second goal on nine minutes only for Flynn to be signaled for square ball when he and McCormack were in a two-on-one with Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton.

Donegal, starting with Michael Murphy for the first time in 2018, struggled into the wind, although two points late in the first half from Patrick McBrearty meant only a 1-3 to 0-5 half-time deficit for the hosts.

With the elements at their back, Donegal began to spin off scores at the outset of part two. Murphy, Jamie Brennan, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Niall O’Donnell and McBrearty’s scores turned the tables. Donegal, on 43 minutes, were 0-10 to 1-4 in front and looking like stretching that advantage.

However, Kildare and their abilities to grab goals, almost meant a fast-tracked approach back into affairs. Niall Kelly smashed low past Patton on 44 minutes after Moolick had won a high ball into the Donegal square.

Again, Donegal built the lead again through points, with McHugh, Murphy, McBrearty and Hugh McFadden scoring. On the hour, though, Kildare brought the score back to 0-14 to 3-5 with David Slatterty palming home at the back post.

However, McHugh’s goal swung things back towards Donegal, who are off and running. Next Saturday they don’t have far to go as they take on Tyrone at Healy Park with the losers expected to be in serious trouble at the bottom of the table.

Scorers for Donegal: Ryan McHugh 1-2, Patrick McBrearty 0-4 (0-1f), Michael Murphy 0-3 (0-1f), Hugh McFadden 0-2, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Jamie Brennan, Odhrán MacNiallais, Niall O’Donnell 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: Daniel Flynn 1-1, Kevin Feely 0-3 (0-3f), Niall Kelly, David Slattery 1-0 each, Fergal Conway, Kevin Flynn 0-1 each.


Shaun Patton

Eoghan Ban Gallagher
Caolan Ward
Stephen McMenamin

Ryan McHugh
Paul Brennan
Tony McClenaghan

Hugh McFadden
Odhrán Mac Niallais

Eamonn Doherty
Leo McLoone
Mark McHugh

Patrick McBrearty
Michael Murphy
Jamie Brennan


Niall O’Donnell for McClenaghan (half-time)
Neil McGee for Ward (50)
Stephen McBrearty for Brennan (55)
Caolan McGonigle for M.McHugh (60)
Ciaran Thompson for Mac Niallais (64)
Nathan Mullins for O’Donnell (69)


Mark Donnellan

Peter Kelly
David Hyland
Mick O’Grady

Cian O’Donoghue
Eoin Doyle
Johnny Byrne

Kevin Feely
Tommy Moolick

Fergal Conway
Niall Kelly
Paul Cribbin

Ben McCormack
Daniel Flynn
Paddy Brophy


Kevin Flynn for O’Donoghue (half-time)
David Slattery for Cribbin (55)
Chris Healy for N.Kelly
Fionn Dowling for Conway (63)
Mark Sherry for Moolick (69)

Referee: David Gough (Meath)

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Alan Foley

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