Fourth defeat in a row for Kerry

Fourth defeat in a row for Kerry

Donegal 1-12 Kerry 0-6

Kerry are in deep relegation trouble after slumping to their fourth successive league defeat, going down 1-12 to 0-6 to Donegal.

Michael Murphy scored 1-5 in all for the All-Ireland champions in Ballybofey, helping them take a 1-5 to 0-3 interval lead.

Johnny Buckley, Tomás Ó Sé and Eoin Brosnan scored Kerry’s early points, but an injury sidelined Ó Sé’s brother Marc.

Donegal went on to dominate the second period during which Tomás Ó Sé earned a straight red card.

Jim McGuinness' men bounced back from last weekend's four-point defeat to Tyrone with a comfortable victory in the end, with captain and All-Star Murphy once again stealing the show.

His scoring haul included a first half penalty on a day when Donegal had seven different scorers. The win eases the Ulster side's relegation worries while this latest loss sees Kerry drop into serious relegation bother, propping up the Division 1 table with no points from their four games to date.

Donegal broke from the traps in great style and were 1-1 to 0-0 up after Leo McLoone scored the game's opening point on four minutes with Murphy netting the goal one minute later.

Murphy, who had a first half penalty saved in the previous round in Omagh, made no mistake this time when he drilled low and hard past goalkeeper Brendan Kealy.

The penalty was awarded after Ross Wherity was tripped by Johnny Buckley as he was about to pull the trigger on an open goal.

Donegal were playing like All-Ireland champions and dominating in all sectors despite playing into a biting swirling breeze.

A point from Patrick McBrearty saw them race into a six-point lead by the eighth minute. His strike was a product of a period of sustained pressure and a neat lay-off from Murphy.

Donegal shot a few wides and had an appeal for second penalty turned down when Murphy was seemingly dragged back and tripped before Buckley opened the Kerry account on 18 minutes.

Buckley, who was named at half forward, played most of the half around midfield and was sent clear by Kieran Donaghy. His score sparked a Kerry surge that saw them add two more points in the space of the next seven minutes from the raiding Tomás Ó Sé and captain Eoin Brosnan.

Brosnan kicked the highest point of the day when he lofted over Paul Durcan’s crossbar after Donaghy had mopped up a breaking ball in the Donegal defence.

In between the latter two points, Murphy shrugged off Aidan O’Mahony way out wide on the right to kick a brilliant point.

Donegal were 1-5 to 0-3 in front in the 26th minute following a great run and point from Ryan Bradley, who took the ball on the burst after Declan Walsh had broken up a Kerry attack at the other end. That was the final score of the first half.

Donegal, through Murphy (0-2) and one each from McLoone, Neil Gallagher and Rory Kavanagh, continued to dominate in the third quarter.

Kerry's cause was not helped by the sending off of Tomás Ó Sé within five minutes of the restart. The veteran defended received his marching orders for an incident that happened off-the-ball and was reported to referee Derek Fahy.

With the game over as a contest, Donegal continued to press and Murphy added two points, one a nonchalant strike from 40 metres which sailed over the bar to extend the lead out to ten points with seven minutes remaining.

Kerry did put on a late spurt and goalkeeper Durcan made two superb saves both from substitute Kieran O'Leary, one from play and the other from a penalty, before man-of-the-match Murphy wrapped up the scoring with a close-in free.

DONEGAL: Paul Durcan; Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee, Eamonn McGee; Anthony Thompson, Frank McGlynn, Ryan McHugh; Rory Kavanagh (0-1) Neil Gallagher (0-1); Ross Wherity, Leo McLoone (0-2), Ryan Bradley (0-1); Patrick McBrearty (0-1), Michael Murphy (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-2f), Colm McFadden (0-1, 0-1f).

Subs used: Martin McElhinney for Wherity (53 mins), Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy for McBrearty (55), Matthew Smyth for Kavanagh (60); Gary McFadden for Gallagher (65).

KERRY: Brendan Kealy; Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Shane McEnright; Tomás Ó Sé (0-1), Killian Young, Peter Crowley; Kieran Donaghy, Eoin Brosnan (0-1); Jonathan Lyne, Donnchadh Walsh, Johnny Buckley (0-3, 0-2f); James O’Donoghue, Darran O’Sullivan (0-1), Michael Geary.

Subs used: Brian McGuire for M Ó Sé (28 mins, inj), Fionn Fitzgerald for J O'Donoghue (47), Jack Sherwood for Crowley (53), Kieran O’Leary for O’Sullivan (60), Andrew Garnett for Donaghy (69, inj).

Referee: Derek Fahy (Longford)

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