DONEGAL 1-12 KERRY 0-06
By Chris McNulty in Ballybofey
DONEGAL steamrolled Kerry in the Ballybofey snow this afternoon to edge themselves closer to survival.
Michael Murphy hit 1-5 in an impressive display that saw Donegal coast to a deserved and comfortable victory against a Kerry side that is still searching for its first League point of 2013.
Murphy blasted home a fifth-minute penalty to set Donegal on their way, while Kerry – who had Tomás Ó Sé sent off in the 40th minute – had a late penalty themselves, but Paul Durcan superbly saved from Kieran O’Leary.
Twelve months ago, Donegal lost heavily in a League game in Killarney, but there was never any danger of that happening here as, from very early, it was evident that Donegal were going to dominate.
Just five minutes in, Ross Wherity won a penalty when he was bundled over by Johnny Buckley. Murphy had missed against Tyrone last weekend, but there was no repeat as he smashed into the bottom corner past Brendan Kealy.
They led by six Patrick McBrearty curled over in the ninth minute and a brace of classy points by Murphy had Donegal 1-5 to 0-3 at the break.
Kerry’s task was steeper still when Tomás Ó Sé was red carded five minutes into the second half. By the time Darran O’Sullivan ended a barren 28-minute spell for Kerry, Donegal were nine up.
Murphy’s brilliance endured for Donegal, whose bursts from deep were a key factor.
Four minutes from the end, Kerry had a golden chance to bring a little respectability back to their total, but Paul Durcan brilliantly saved Kieran O’Leary’s penalty.
Murphy tapped over a late free to ensure some searching questions in the Kingdom this week.
Donegal used the chance to send in some players from the fringes. ‘With next week’s game in mind,’ McGuinness confirmed, Kavanagh and Gallagher were withdrawn while Gary McFadden was given game time and Killybegs man Matthew Smyth was given a first senior appearance.
Donegal: P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; F McGlynn, D Walsh, R McHugh; R Kavanagh (0-1), N Gallagher (0-1); R Wherity, L McLoone (0-2), R Bradley (0-1); P McBrearty (0-1), M Murphy (1-5, 1pen, 2f), C McFadden (0-1, 1f). Subs: M McElhinney for Wherity (53 mins); D Molloy for McBrearty (55 mins); M Smyth for Kavanagh (61 mins); G McFadden for Gallagher (64 mins).
Kerry: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony, S Enright; T Ó Sé (0-1), K Young, P Crowley; K Donaghy, E Brosnan (0-1); J Lyne, D Walsh, J Buckley (0-3, 1f); J O’Donoghue, D O’Sullivan (0-1), M Geaney, Subs: B McGuire for M.Ó Sé (28 mins); F Fitzgerald for O’Donoghue (47 mins); J Sherwood for Crowley (53 mins); K O’Leary for O’Sullivan (61 mins); A Garnett for Buckley (70 mins).
Referee: D Fahy (Longford).