Sunday, July 15, 2012

Senior Football: Donegal win as Kerry Kick the Game Away

Kerry 1-5 Donegal 2-8

Donegal lined out with two new faces in the team, Des Dolan and Kevin Cassidy, and a rearranged side with a player or two out of his usual position.  Considered hot favourites now, there were some raised eyebrows as the northerners struggled to gel and Kerry really had it well within their grasp to pull of a surprise result, but the Kingdom left too many chances behind them and Donegal came away with the win.

Donegal beat Kerry on Sunday.
At the end of the first half it was Kerry who held the lead, by 1-3 to 0-2.  It could have been more had Kerry taken their chances.  There were at least three scoring chances from frees that would be considered bankers on most occasions, but Kerry squandered them.  The game remained scoreless for a long period as Kerry seemed a little tentative and Donegal were working with the rearranged side.  Eventually the scores came, the first for Kerry from Donnacha Fenton.  Brian White answered right away, and was followed by a Dessie Dolan free.  Surely Donegal would start to motor now, but Kerry somehow managed to keep on top.  Conor O’Brien leveled after Fenton took a short 45, and then Mark Schutte netted in fine style for Kerry to put the cat among the pigeons.  Paul O’Neill pointed to put Kerry in a four point lead at the break.

Captains Brian White and Kieran O'Connor
with referee John Fitzpatrick.
Donegal continued to struggle to get their act together in the second half, but Kerry also continued to kick their chance of a big win away.  Two early chances went a-begging for Kerry and time and again the ball was lost due to mishandling.  Donegal took the lead with a goal from Fergal Clancy.  Kerry turned the ball over in attack, the ball found its way to Garbhan Friel, who played it on to Clancy, and the low shot found the back of the net.  Kerry’s strategy was the high ball into Schutte, and it generated a penalty, which Paul O’Neill took and Peter Boyle saved.  Another chance gone.  With Donegal leading by a point and the forward line misfiring somewhat, Kerry still had plenty of possession and another goal chance.  Schutte beat his man, found O’Brien on the edge of the small square but the Dubliner’s shot was blocked on the line.  When Donegal had their chance to put the game away at the other end they did.  Kerry pushed forward as time wound down, and Donegal broke downfield with an extra man.  Kieran McWilliams was foundbehind the last man and the corner forward buried the ball.  Donegal added another Dolan point to end up six point winners, but in doing so will consider themselves very lucky that their opponents failed to make the most of their chances.

Referee:  John Fitzpatrick (New York)

Man of the Match:  Fergal Clancy (Donegal)

Kerry:  S. O’Leary, C. O’Mahoney, J. O’Mahoney, M. Godley, K. O’Connor, L. Mulligan, I. Whelan, J. Coffee, M. Shutte, P. O’Neill, D. Fenton, C. O’Brien, S. O’Neill.  Donegal:  P. Boyle, D. Reynolds, J. Gallagher, K. Mulhern, K. McColgan, K. Cassidy, E. Kelly, B. Donnelly, B. White, G. Friel, F. Clancy, D. Dolan, K. McWilliams.

By Rory O'Donnell

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