Donegal 2-15 Kerry 2-10
There were championship points at stake as well as the Pat O'Brien Cup in the final game of the day. Thanks to nine Eoin Bradley points, and a goal each from Daniel McLoughlin and Stephen Griffin, Donegal overcame a gallant second half Kerry comeback to kill both birds with the one stone.
|Pat O'Brien Cup Champions - Donegal|
Donegal had strengthened the side with the addition of Bradley at corner forward, and the return of Cahir Healy to defence brought back memories of Donegal's last championship victory in 2010; Healy played corner back on the side. Donegal dominated from the get go. Stephen Griffin accounted for three first quarter points, Bradley three, and Daniel McLoughlin one as the northerners made it look easy.
Kerry's body language seemed to convey that defeat had been conceded. The first Kerry score came in the form of a goal after Croft found Graham Glenn with a brilliant pass. There were 27 minutes gone in the half by that stage. Bradley answered with a point for Donegal, but points from Glenn and Croft before the break did much to lift Kerry spirits. A seven point deficit had been reduced to 3.
It was all square with 20 minutes to go. The teams matched each other for points, and a scrambled goal that was finished by Niall Sheehy meant that all was level. Kerry's approach was now filled with renewed vigor. A converted Croft 45 put Kerry into a brief lead, only for two Bradley scores to turn the tables entering the last quarter.
Kerry were now winning the midfield battles, a fine Niall Sheehy score put them into a one point lead. But that man Bradley was involved in Donegal's go ahead goal. A searching ball found the Derryman who put the ball across to McLaughlin, who finished easily into the net. Shortly afterwards
Griffin sealed the deal with a second Donegal
goal and less than 5 minutes left. Kerry
kept plugging away, but there was too little time to pull off a second
comeback. Donegal win the silverware,
and their first points of the season.
Donegal: S. Houghton, M. Canney, C. McCarron, S. Doherty, C. Healy, M. Dunphy, M. Smyth, G. Gallagher, C. Bell, G. Clancy, D. McLoughlin, E. Bradley, S. Griffin. Kerry: L. Steacy, M. Godley, A. Fitzgerald, P. Devane, D. Foley, J. O'Shea,
I. Whelan, D.
Nolan, N. Sheehy, G. Glynn, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Croft, D. O'Mahoney.