Patient Dubs break down Donegal to make it six wins from six

Michael Murphy and James McCarthy both saw red in a cagey Croke Park affair.

McCarthy, centre, and Murphy both saw red in Croke Park.
McCarthy, centre, and Murphy both saw red in Croke Park.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dublin 1-10

Donegal 0-7

– Niall Kelly reports from Croke Park

PHILLY MCMAHON SCORED a late goal to secure the points as Dublin eventually broke down a resolute Donegal to make it six wins from six in Division 1 of the Allianz National Football League.

Both sides finished with 14 men in Croke Park as Michael Murphy and James McCarthy were both shown to the line for second yellow cards in the second half.

And it was the Dubs who prevailed in an affair that was every bit as cagey as expected with McMahon’s 66th-minute goal proving to be the icing on the cake.

Jim Gavin’s side had already guaranteed their place in the semi-finals with their 100% start, but defeat leaves Donegal most likely needing a win against Monaghan in their final game.

The Dubs edged a tight first half and lead by 0-5 to 0-4 at the break, man of the match Kevin McManamon kicking two of his three points in that opening period.

Donegal could have seized control as early as the second minute but Michael Savage, deputising for Stephen Cluxton between the posts, was quick enough to scramble Eoin McHugh’s shot away as it trickled towards the line.

Dublin had chances of their own, not least in the 20th minute when Brian Fenton set Cormac Costello free but the Whitehall man whistled his shot past Mark Anthony McGinley’s post.

Donegal showed a bit more adventure after the restart and took the lead with points from Paddy McBrearty and Odhran MacNiallias in quick succession. That was as good as it got though as they were held scoreless for 23 minutes before McBrearty pointed again, their only other score of the evening.

Dublin patiently worked to make opportunities and picked off scores through substitute Dean Rock and the ever-lively Paddy Andrews.

Matters briefly threatened to boil over in the 50th minute in the incident which saw Murphy and McCarthy both sent off. Both players had been booked by referee Conor Lane early in the evening and when Murphy dived in with a late foot block on Ciaran Kilkenny, McCarthy reacted angrily.

The Ballymun man could yet find himself in further trouble as the slow-motion TV replays showed his hand near to the eye area of Martin McElhinney in the scuffle that followed.

When order was restored, Dublin kicked on and points from Fenton, Costello and McManamon gave them a three-point cushion before McMahon was allowed to roam free late on to close out the win.

Scorers for Dublin: K McManamon, C Costello (2f) 0-3 each, P McMahon 1-0, C Kilkenny, D Rock, P Andrews, B Fenton 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty 0-3 (1f), M Murphy, E McGee, R Kavanagh, O MacNiallais 0-1 each.


1. Michael Savage (St Vincent’s)

2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
4. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrines)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Denis Bastick (Templeogue Synge Street)

10. Paul Flynn (Fingalians)
11. Paddy Andrews (St Brigids)
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)
14. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)


What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

26. Dean Rock for Brogan (41)
25. Emmet O Conghaile for Bastick (45)
19. Shane B Carthy for Lowndes (53)
21. Michael Fitzsimons for Small (53)
17. Tomas Brady for Costello (59)
20. Darren Daly for McManamon (69)


1. Mark Anthony McGinley (Naomh Micheal)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ardara)
17. Karl Lacey (Four Masters)
4. Eamon McGee (Gaoth Dobhair)

5. Ryan McHugh (Kilcar)
6. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
7. Cieran Gillespie (Gaoth Dobhair)

8. Rory Kavanagh (St Eunan’s)
22. Hugh McFadden (Killybegs)

10. Martin O’Reilly (Seán Mac Cumhaill)
11. Leo McLoone (Naomh Conaill)
12. Odhran MacNiallais (Gaoth Dobhair)

13. Paddy McBrearty (Kilcar)
14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)
15. Eoin McHugh (Kilcar)


24. Mark McHugh for McGrath (41)
19. Martin McElhinney for McLoone (45)
20. Eoghan ‘Ban’ Gallagher for Thompson (54)
25. Christy Toye for H McFadden (59)
9. Colm McFadden for Lacey (65)
21. Michael Carroll for Kavanagh (70+3)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

Last-minute goal snatches draw as Armagh boost survival hopes

About the author:

Niall Kelly

Read next: