Super 8’s: Kerry and Donegal share the spoils with 1-20 to 1-20 draw

Kerry 1-20 Donegal 1-20 

What an epic contest this was and what an advertisement for the game. Kerry and Donegal couldn’t be separated as they played out a 1-20 to 1-20 draw in Croke Park. The draw means that Group 1 is wide open now and it will be all to play for in two weeks time where Donegal take on Mayo in Castlebar, while Kerry travel to Navan to take on Meath. A win for both Kerry and Donegal will see them through to the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Jason McGee and Stephen O’Brien both traded scores for their respective sides. Kerry could have had a goal then but Shaun Patton did superbly to narrow the angle to deny David Clifford. Killian Spillane replied to a Michael Murphy free. Paul Geaney then notched a point between the posts, but Niall O’Donnell raised a white flag to bring the sides level for the third time. Clifford edged Kerry ahead then when he pointed a free on 16 minutes. That lead was extended to two points when O’Shea pointed from a free but Kilcar man McHugh pointed only for O’Brien to reply almost instantly. Man of the Match Ryan McHugh got his second of the game before Murphy levelled the game with some good interplay with McBrearty. Geaney (2) and McBrearty then exchanged scores. The sides were level on 34 minutes when McBrearty pointed. However, it was Peter Keane’s men that took the lead in at the break thanks to a free from Sean O’Shea. Niall O’Donnell and Gavin White both got black cards before the whistle was blown for half time. Kerry led 0-10 to 0-09 at the break.

The sides were level within 45 seconds with Michael Langan pointing. Murphy then landed a free from around 50 metres to cancel out a point from David Clifford. It was 0-11 each after 39 minutes. Murphy registered another free on the board on 42 minutes, but on 44 minutes the first goal of the game arrived, It came after Paul Geaney attempted pass went astray before he actually went to pick it up himself and burst threw the Donegal defence to finish past Patton 1-11 to 0-12. Michael Murphy had Donegal back ahead with 60 minutes played the Glenswilly man getting on the end of a pass from Ryan McHugh. Killian Spillane responded though and the sides were level 1-15 each. Oisin Gallen and Paddy McBrearty both registered points either side of a point from Tom O’Sullivan. Spillane would restore the 2 point advantage for the Kingdom. However, Donegal were to get a goal of their own from their talisman Murphy. Murphy finishing to the net from a penalty past Shane Ryan. Sean O’Shea levelled up the game. McBrearty kicked over a free before Michael Langan replied to a score from David Clifford. Jason Foley had Kerry ahead then with a fisted effort. Oisin Gallen pointed in injury time, but Michael Murphy pointed following a pass from McHugh. It was 1-19 each two minutes into added time before Paul Murphy hit what he thought would be the winning score. There was more drama though as Tomas O’Se was given a red card, Murphy kicked a last gasp free from his hands which split the posts.

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Caolan Ward, Stephen McMenamin, Odhrán McFadden-Ferry; Ryan McHugh (0-2), Eamonn Doherty, Eoin McHugh; Hugh McFadden, Jason McGee (0-1); Ciarán Thompson, Niall O’Donnell (0-1), Michael Langan (0-2); Patrick McBrearty (0-5, 3f), Michael Murphy (1-7, 1 pen, 4f), Jamie Brennan. Subs: Daire Ó Baoill for McGee (24mins), Oisin Gallen (0-2) for O’Donnell (35, BC), 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 (0-1), Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan (0-1); Paul Murphy (0-1), Gavin Crowley, Shane Enright; Adrian Spillane, Diarmuid O’Connor; Gavin White, Sean O’Shea (1-4, 3f), Killian Spillane (0-3); David Clifford (0-3, 1f), Paul Geaney (1-4), Stephen O’Brien (0-3). Subs: Jonathan Lyne for White (34mins, BC), Jack Sherwood for O’Connor (44), Mark Griffin for Enright (56), Graham O’Sullivan for Crowley (63), Micheál Burns for A Spillane (68), Tomás Ó Sé for K Spillane (70)

Ref: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)

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