Kerry look set to face life in Division Two of the Allianz National Football League next season, following defeat at the hands of Donegal on Sunday afternoon. The fourth defeat from as many matches, sees the Kingdom facing a very difficult few months for the remainder of the competition.
With some big name players back in the fold, and an improved performance against Kildare last weekend, Kerry had been expected to step up to the mark, and show what they were capable of this afternoon. However, on a dark day for Kerry football, fans left Ballybofey for the long journey home, knowing that it would now take a miracle to survive in the top flight. Michael Murphy was always going to be a huge threat to the young Kingdom defence and despite the pre match warnings, there was little the players could do about his influence on the game. Indeed the full forward ran riot against the experimental side, scoring 1-5 of Donegal’s total.
The All Ireland champions controlled this match from the outset and were already well on their way to taking all three points by the half time break. At that stage the Ulster side led 1-5 to 0-3, and already the alarm bells were ringing for Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his selectors. Despite their best efforts, things got no better after the restart and with Murphy showing the way, Donegal ran out easy winners. They outscored Kerry 0-7 to 0-3 in the second period, and their dominance was never under threat. Kerry’s woes were further added to as Marc ‘Se picked up an injury and had to be taken off, while brother Tomas received a straight red card and will now miss some crucial games.
At this stage of the competition Kerry already look to be on the way out of Division One. The victory of Down over Mayo on Saturday night, means that Kerry are now the only side in the section that have failed to pick up any points from their first four outings.