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Geaney at the double as Kerry achieve first opening round league win under Fitzmaurice

Kerry’s full-forward line scored 2-10 between them in a hugely encouraging win over Donegal.

A rewarding trip to the north-west for Kerry today.
A rewarding trip to the north-west for Kerry today.
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Kerry 2-17
Donegal 1-17

Alan Foley reports from Letterkenny

TWO PAUL GEANEY goals set Kerry on their way to an opening round Division 1 win against Donegal in Letterkenny.

In a repeat of the 2014 All-Ireland final it was the side managed by Eamonn Fitzmaurice who had a superior level of experience.

A three-point win at the end wasn’t a really accurate reflection of the dominance shown by Kerry, who had taken their foot off the gas long before the hosts managed to post the last six points of the game.

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher handed out five debutantes and the top flight this year will be a steep learning curve by the looks of things.

An excellent run from Martin O’Reilly on 24 minutes resulted in a penalty for the home team following a foul by Donnchadh Walsh.

Michael Murphy slammed the penalty past Brian Kelly and despite having been second best for long spells, Donegal were ahead – 1-2 to 0-4.

However, Kerry responded in style when Geaney, who would end the day with 2-4, shot past Mark Anthony McGinley having been set up by substitute Jack Barry just two minutes later.

Manufacturing scoring chances was something that Kerry were managing much easier than Donegal, who lost Neil McGee prior to throw-in having been feeling unwell.

In some ways Donegal were the architects of their own downfall with Barry Moran and Tadhg Morley dominating McGinley’s kick-outs.

Kerry went in 1-11 to 1-5 in front at the interval and by the time the second half started Murphy was re-positioned at centre-field.

A McBrearty free and score from Ciaran Thompson made for a decent start to part two for Donegal. However, James O’Donoghue put over two at the Town End to restore Kerry’s six-point advantage.

O’Donoghue and Geaney were causing the Donegal defence a multitude of problems and in the 45th minute the latter added his second goal when he fired past McGinley having attacked the right channel. It made it 2-14 to 1-8.

If last year’s tempestuous fixture in Tralee was deemed to be x-rated, this afternoon’s was a matinee you could’ve the wife and the children to. It was very open with only two yellows and a black card.

Donegal’s comeback at the end was spirited, although seeing as some of the crowd started to filter through the exit doors midway through the second half the contest was perhaps over by then.

Scorers for Kerry: Paul Geaney 2-4 (0-2 frees), James O’Donoghue 0-3, Jack Savage 0-3 (0-1 free), Donnchadh Walsh 0-2, Tom O’Sullivan, David Moran, Jonathan Lyne, Paul Murphy and Jack Barry 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 1-3 (1-0, pen, 0-3 frees), Patrick McBrearty 0-4 (0-3 frees), Ciaran Thompson 0-3, Darach O’Connor 0-2, Paul Brennan, Martin O’Reilly, Ryan McHugh, Eoin McHugh and Conor Gibbons 0-1 each.

Kerry

1 – Brian Kelly (Killarney Legion)

2 – Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
3 – Mark Griffin (St Michael’s-Foilmore)
4 – Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5 – Peter Crowley (Luane Rangers)
6 – Killian Young (Renard)
7 – Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

8 – David Moran (Kerin O’Rahilly’s)
9 – Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)

10 – Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)
11 – Paul Murphy (Rathmore),
12 – Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane)

13 – Jack Savage (Kerins O’Rahillys)
14 – Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15 – James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion).

Subs:
20 – Jack Barry (Na Gaeil) for Enright (inj) (9)
18 – Michael Geaney (Dingle) for Lyne (49)
17 – Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys) for O’Donoghue (53)
19 -Brendan O’Sullivan (Valentia) for Murphy (57)
25 – Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) for Morley (61)
21 – Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle) for Walsh (66) Barry (black carded 70)

Donegal

1 – Mark Anthony McGinley (St Michael’s)

4 – Paddy McGrath (Ardara)
2 – Caolan Ward (St Eunan’s)
7 – Eoghan ‘Ban’ Gallagher (Killybegs)

26 – Frank McGlynn (Glenfin)
12 – Ryan McHugh (Kilcar)
5 – Paul Brennan (Bundoran)

8 – Jason McGee (Cloughaneely)
9 – Hugh McFadden (Killybegs)

6 – Martin O’Reilly (MacCumhaill’s)
11 – Michael Langan (St Michael’s)
10 – Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill)

13 – Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar)
14 – Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)
15 – Jamie Brennan (Bundoran)

Subs:
24 – Eoin McHugh (Kilcar) for McGlynn (26)
19 – Conor Gibbons (St Eunan’s) for Langan (42)
18 – Darach O’Connor (Buncrana) for J Brennan (48)
21 – Eamonn Doherty (St Eunan’s) for McGrath (50)
20 – Ethan O’Donnell (Naomh Conaill) for O’Reilly (58)
25 – Stephen McBrearty (Kilcar) for McFadden (61)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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About the author:

Alan Foley

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