Kerry proved far too good for Donegal in their Allianz National Football League Division One clash at Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite being missing a number of regulars such as Colm Cooper and Tomas O’Se, the All Ireland finalists had way too much ability for their Ulster opponents and were never in any danger of losing this game. Kieran Donaghty was tried as a half forward and he really impressed in that position. The Austin Stacks man won plenty of breaking ball and linked up very well with midfield duo, Sheehan and Maher. The latter pair again ruled the roost around the centre of the park and are becoming a solid partnership.
Patrick Curtin is a little known name outside of the Kingdom, but his goal on Sunday sealed the win for Kerry and the corner forward could be a name to remember as the season progresses. Donegal could never get a real foothold in this tie and despite the best efforts of star forward Michael Murphy, they never looked liked causing an upset. The halfback line were excellent all through,with the three managing to hold their men scoreless. Laune Rangers youngster Peter Crowley was particularly impressive and rightly finished up with the Man of the Match award.
Kerry led 1-08 to 0-6 at the interval, but in truth,it could have been much more. Sheehan was again very accurate from frees and newcomer Curtin also chipped in with a score from a placed ball. Once Sheehan dispatched a penalty to the net after only two minutes of the second half, the game was up for the visitors.
Jack O’Connor will have been pleased with this performance, and aside from the slip up at home to Armagh,Kerry have been going about their business in a clinical manner this season. Donaghty switching to the wing seemed to work, Crowley staked a real case for inclusion in the halfbackline, and both McGuire and Curtain showed that they are good enough for this level.
Kerry: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, D Bohan, K Young; P Crowley (0-1), E Brosnan, B McGuire (0-1); A Maher (0-2), B Sheehan 1-7 (seven frees, 1-0 pen); P Galvin (0-1), Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan; BJ Keane (0-1), K Donaghy (0-2), P Curtin 1-1 (0-1 free). Subs : S Enright for D Bohan (inj h/t), A O’Mahony for M Ó Sé (61), S Scanlon for B Sheehan (65), D O’Callaghan for Declan O’Sullivan (65), K O’Leary for P Curtin (66).
Donegal: P Durcan; F McGlynn, N McGee, P McGrath; A Thompson (0-1), K Lacey, L McLoone; R Kavanagh (0-1), N Gallagher; M McHugh, R Bradley, E McGee; C McFadden, M Murphy (1-5, 0-3 frees, 1-0 pen), P McBrearty (0-1). Subs : D Walsh for L McLoone (h/t), M Boyle for R Bradley (h/t), C Toye for M McHugh (58)
Referee: S Doyle (Wexford)