Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 1-13 Donegal 1-8

Kerry defeated Donegal by 1-13 to 1-8 in the Allianz Football League Division 1 on Sunday March 6th at Austin Stack Park Tralee.

D1: Kerry see off Donegal in stormy encounter


By Chris McNulty in Tralee for

Kerry had the better of Donegal in a high-octane and highly-charged contest at Austin Stack Park that was ferocious at times, nasty at others. Alan Fitzgerald of Kerry and Donegal’s Leo McLoone were red carded in the first half on a day when Bryan Sheehan’s peerless free taking was key for the home side.

After Peter Crowley goaled for Kerry in the 45th minute, it looked like curtains for Donegal, only for a Michael Murphy goal to give Donegal some hope, but Rory Gallagher’s men slipped to their first League defeat of the campaign. Ten minutes into the second half, Kieran Donaghy off-loaded to Crowley, who surged away from the tackle of Odhrán Mac Niallais before burying his shot past Peter Boyle, the Donegal goalkeeper.

Just when the game seemed to have crept away from them, Donegal hit back as Murphy plucked Eoin McHugh’s sideline ball from the sky right in front of Kerry ‘keeper Brian Kelly. The Donegal captain turned and blasted high to the net and a comeback was possible, but Sheehan, Barry John Keane and Colm Cooper hit the points as Kerry scored their second win in a row.

These teams have had plenty of battles of late – and this one began in the trenches. Fitzgerald was red carded for Kerry in the seventh minute because of a clash with Neil McGee. The Donegal full-back required treatment and didn’t reappear until the second half with Fitzgerald given the marching orders for his part. McLoone followed him in the 27th minute when he clashed with Aidan O’Mahony, but by then the tempers had long since spilled over.

Shane Enright and Denis Daly were black carded within seconds of each other in the 24th minute and Eddie Kinsella, the referee, was at centre stage for much of a first half that saw 25 frees given as well as seven cards. Amid all that, there was a game going on. Five points from Bryan Sheehan, a ’45 and four frees that included one sweet effort from around 50 metres, had Kerry 0-7 to 0-3 in front.

Two Murphy frees had Donegal in touch at the 14th minute, but Sheehan’s free, in between two fisted points from Donnchadh Walsh, had Kerry holding a slender 0-3 to 0-2 advantage. Four from Sheehan, between the 19th and the 29th minutes, put Kerry in control, but Patrick McBrearty drilled over for Donegal, who saw late efforts from Rory Kavanagh and Hugh McFadden crash off the upright.

The pot was spilling onto the hob when Kinsella called for the ball at the interval as Rory Gallagher and Frank McGlynn let their feelings be known to the official. Donegal battled back to draw level as Murphy and Neil Gallagher – a half-time replacement – as well as two from McBrearty steadied the ship. Crowley and Murphy swapped goals, but it was the Kingdom who left toasting a win over Tir Chonaill, whose last win in Kerry was way back in 1988.


Scorers for Kerry: B Sheehan 0-8 (7f, 1 ’45), D Walsh 0-3, P Crowley 1-0, BJ Keane, C Cooper 0-1

Scorers for Donegal: M Murphy 1-4 (3f, 1 ’45), P McBrearty 0-3 (2f), N Gallagher 0-1

KERRY: B Kelly; M Ó Sé, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, A O’Mahony, F Fitzgerald; K Donaghy, B Sheehan; D Daly, P Murpy, D Walsh; D O’Sullivan, A Fitzgerald, S O’Brien
Subs: P O’Connor for Enright (black card, 27), C Cooper for Daly (black card, 27), J Buckley for Donaghy (59), BJ Keane for O’Brien (59), B O’Sullivan for Crowley (68), A Walsh for O’Sullivan (70).

DONEGAL: Peter Boyle; E Doherty, N McGee, P McGrath; E Ban Gallagher, R McHugh, A Thompson; R Kavanagh, M Murphy; M O’Reilly, H McFadden, E McHugh; O Mac Niallais, P McBrearty, L McLoone
Subs: N Gallagher for McFadden (h/t), M McElhinney for Doherty (h/t), C Toye for Thompson (54).

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois)

Team News

The Kerry Senior Football Team to play Donegal in Round 4 of the Allianz League in Austin Stack Park Tralee on Sunday (2:30pm) shows three changes in personnel from the side that defeated Down on Sunday last.

Brian Kelly starts in goal in place of Brendan Kealy as Eamonn Fitzmaurice continues to rotate his goalkeepers, Peter Crowley, who was introduced as a substitute against Down, starts at right half back in place of Padraig O’Connor, while in the half forward line, St Mary’s player Denis Daly comes in for his League debut in place of his clubmate Aidan Walsh. Kieran Donaghy continues in midfield in place of the injured David Moran.

The substitutes list is notable for the return to the match day panel of Johnny Buckley, recovered from the injury that forced him off against Roscommon, and Jack Sherwood, who returns after a long injury absence. Tommy Walsh, Killian Young and Jonathan Lyne are nursing knocks and are not part of the match day panel.

The team, captained by Bryan Sheehan is as follows:
1. Brian Kelly Killarney Legion
2. Marc Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht
3. Mark Griffin St Michaels/Foilmore
4. Shane Enright Tarbert
5. Peter Crowley Laune Rangers
6. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore
7. Fionn Fitzgerald Dr Crokes
8. Kieran Donaghy Austin Stacks
9. Bryan Sheehan (C) St Marys
10. Denis Daly St Marys
11. Paul Murphy Rathmore
12. Donnchadh Walsh Cromane
13. Darran O’Sullivan Glenbeigh-Glencar
14. Alan Fitzgerald Castlegregory
15. Stephen O’Brien Kenmare
Fir Ionaid:
16. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin
17. Padraig O’Connor Killarney Legion
18. Aidan Walsh St Marys
19. Colm Cooper Dr Crokes
20. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahillys
21. Pa Kilkenny Glenbeigh/Glencar
22. Brendan O’Sullivan Valentia
23. Johnny Buckley Dr Crokes
24. Jack Sherwood Firies
25. Philip O’Connor Cordal
26. Conor Cox Listowel Emmets

Match Coverage

This game will be shown live on TG4