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Kerry repeat All-Ireland final win by seeing off Donegal as Keane and Moran bag the goals

Eamonn Fitzmaurice saw his side triumph in Austin Stack Park.

Barry John Keane grabs Kerry's first goal of the game today.
Barry John Keane grabs Kerry's first goal of the game today.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Kerry 2-13
Donegal 2-11

Paul Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park, Tralee

FOR THE SECOND time in six months Donegal came up agonisingly short against Kerry, and while there wasn’t nearly as much at stake as when these two teams met six months ago in Croke Park, the 6,250 partisan onlookers in Austin Stack Park were treated to an engaging – and at times prickly – contest between last year’s All-Ireland finalists.

Two late penalties – converted first by Kerry’s David Moran and then matched by Donegal’s Michael Murphy – added to the late drama as Kerry were forced to dig deep against a team that was forced to throw away its defensive sensibilities and were much better for that.

In the end Kerry clung on for the victory after a marked improvement on what was an uncharacteristically bad display the previous week against Cork. Donegal, too, will take many positives from a display that was miles better than the toothless one put in against Monaghan a week ago.

Rory Gallagher Donegal boss Rory Gallagher. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Kerry held the slight advantage, 0-3 to 0-2, after nine minutes before Ryan McHugh’s 11th minute goal edged Donegal into the lead. Thereafter, it was all Kerry. Sheehan’s accuracy from placed balls helped to push the Kingdom into a 0-9 to 1-3 before points from Murphy (free) and Martin McElhinney left the minimum between them at the break, 0-9 to 1-5.

Murphy, Paddy McBrearty, and Colm McFadden landed early second half points to put Donegal back in front, but seven minutes into the half Barry John Keane punched Paul Geaney’s pass to the net as Kerry seized the initiative again.

Kerry's Kieran Donaghy under pressure from the Donegal defence Kerry captain Kieran Donaghy in action. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Killian Young might have put the contest to rest in the 55th minute but his shot across the goal failed to find either Paul Durcan’s net or Kieran Donaghy’s boot.

But with Kerry clinging to a 1-12 to 1-10 lead Kerry won a penalty through Paul O’Donoghue, which David Moran thumped past Durcan.

That looked to have sealed the win for Kerry as they led 2-13 to 1-10 with five minutes to go yet McPadden won a late penalty, converted by Murphy, to make for a nervous couple of minutes for Kerry as Donegal hunted a winning goal – much like the All-Ireland final last September.

Here, as then, Kerry held on for victory; the win again taking them a little closer to the semi-final places and away from the relegation zone, for now.

Killian Young tackled by Karl Lacey Kerry's Killian Young tackled by Donegal's Karl Lacey. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Scorers for Kerry: Bryan Sheehan 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45), Barry John Keane, David Moran (1-0 pen) 1-1 each, Paul Murphy, Johnny Buckley, Paul Geaney, Stephen O’Brien, Alan Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2f, 0-1 ‘45), Paddy McBrearty 0-4, Ryan McHugh 1-0, Neil Gallagher, Hugh McFadden, Martin McElhinney, Colm McFadden 0-1 each.

Kerry

1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)

2. Pa Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
3. Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore)
4. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)

5. Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
7. Killian Young (Renard)

8. Anthony Maher (Duagh)
9. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)

10. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)
11. Bryan Sheehan (St Marys)
12. Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)

13. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
14. Kieran Donaghy (C) (Austin Stacks)
15. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys)

Subs
20. Alan Fitzgerald (Castlegregory) for Sheehan (inj, HT)
21. Shane Enright (Tarbert) for Kilkenny (48)
19. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Geaney (55)
23. Paul O’Donoghue (St Mary’s) for Keane (64)
18. Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes) for Crowley (inj, 67)
25. Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes) for Buckley (68)

Donegal

1. Paul Durcan (The Four Masters)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ardara)
3. Neil McGee (Gweedore)
4. Éamonn McGee (Gweedore)

19. Eamon Doherty (St Eunan’s)
6. Karl Lacey (The Four Masters)
7. Mark McHugh (Kilcar)

8. Neil Gallagher (Glenswilly)
9. Christy Toye (St Michael’s)

10. Martin Reilly (Seán MacCumhaill’s)
21. Martin McElhinney (St Michael’s)
12. Ryan McHugh (Kilcar)

13. Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar)
14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)
15. Hugh McFadden (Killybegs)

Subs
23. Colm McFadden (St Michael’s) for McElhinney
18. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill) for Doherty (57)
21. Martin McElhinney for H McFadden (64)
25. Eoin McHugh (Kilcar) for O’Reilly (67)
22. Gary McFadden (Glenswilly) for M McHugh (70)
24. Daniel McLaughlin (St Michael’s) for Toye (70)

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

– First published 18.00, 15 March

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About the author:

Paul Brennan

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