All Ireland SFC: Kerry and Donegal draw


All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final Group Phase


By Chris McNulty at Croke Park

When they finally drew breath on a pulsating afternoon a headquarters, there was nothing to separate Donegal and Kerry.

During a breathless finale Michael Murphy free was the last act of an eventful contest that might have swung either way.

It was Murphy who netted the 52nd minute penalty that helped Donegal recover from the body blow of a Paul Geaney goal for Kerry on 44 minutes that threatened to derail Declan Bonners depleted charges.

Ciaran Thompson and Caolan Ward got their wires crossed and Geaney was on the loose ball like a flash. Geaney surged in to beat Shaun Patton with a fine finish to the bottom corner of the Hill 16 net.

Two Murphy frees - both of which the Glenswilly man converted from around 50 metres - had just put Donegal in front for the first time since the 10th minute when Geaneys goal arrived like a dose of smelling salts.

Murphy tucked home a penalty after Daire Baoill was fouled by Stephen OBrien to put the Ulster champions in front and they were denied a second goal almost immediately, Eoin McHughs effort chalked off for a square ball infringement.

David Clifford, Kerry, and Hugh McFadden, Donegal, in action at Croke Park.David Clifford, Kerry, and Hugh McFadden, Donegal, in action at Croke Park.

Donegal were rocked when 2018 All-Star nominee Eoghan Ban Gallagher broke an ankle in training during the week and there were further blows as 2012 All-Ireland winning duo Neil McGee and Paddy McGrath were unable for the trenches here.

Patrick McBrearty kicked a brace of classy points to bring Donegal level as the game inched towards the interval, but Sen OSheas third free of the day put Kerry ahead, 0-10 to 0-9, at the changeover.

Kerry - who were minus the services of David Moran - will have felt as though they could have been further in front, though, as two goal chances came and went for the Kingdom.

Shaun Patton denied David Clifford with a deft touch around the post after he sped onto an OShea pass, while Paul Geaney couldnt keep his shot down after the chances opened when Patton punched clear into David Whites path.

Donegal hung in for long spells of the first half before Michael Murphy - who was making his 150th appearance for the county - levelled things up.

Ryan McHugh shone for what appeared a makeshift Donegal and his two fine attempts helped narrow the margins before Murphy knocked over with his left foot.

Geaney pushed the chips towards Kerry, but Donegal - guided by a wonderful Ryan McHugh display - went all in and Murphy rescued a share of the spoils for Declan Bonners men.

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 1-7 1-0pen, 4fs, Patrick McBrearty 0-5 3f, Ryan McHugh, Michael Langan, Oisin Gallen 0-2 each, Jason McGee, Niall ODonnell 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kerry: Paul Geaney 1-4, Sen OShea 0-4 3fs, David Clifford 1f, Killian Spillane, Stephen OBrien 0-3 each, Paul Murphy, Tom OSullivan, Jason Foley 0-1 each

DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Caolan Ward, Stephen McMenamin, Odhrn McFadden-Ferry; Ryan McHugh, Eamonn Doherty, Eoin McHugh; Hugh McFadden, Jason McGee; Ciarn Thompson, Niall ODonnell, Michael Langan; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, Jamie Brennan.

Subs: Daire Baoill for McGee 24, Oisin Gallen for ODonnell black card, 35, Frank McGlynn for McFadden 38, Paul Brennan for Doherty 47, Brendan McCole for McFadden-Ferry 63, Leo McLoone for Thompson 69.

KERRY: Shane Ryan; Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Tom OSullivan; Paul Murphy, Gavin Crowley, Shane Enright; Adrian Spillane, Diarmuid OConnor; Gavin White, Sen OShea, Killian Spillane; David Clifford, Paul Geaney, Stephen OBrien.

Subs: Jonathan Lyne for White black card, 34, Jack Sherwood for OConnor 44, Mark Griffin for Enright 56, Graham OSullivan for Crowley 63, Michel Burns for A.Spillane 68, Toms S for K.Spillane 703.

REFEREE: Paddy Neilan Roscommon.

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