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Allianz FL D2: Donegal secure promotion

By Ger McNally Sat 16th Mar

Allianz FL D2: Donegal secure promotion
Allianz FL D2: Donegal secure promotion

Allianz Football League Division Two | Donegal 0-17 Kildare 1-8 | By Ger McNally at Netwatch Cullen Park

There were two teams heading in very different directions at the final whistle at Netwatch Cullen Park.

A six point win for Donegal confirms an immediate return to Division One for Donegal after last year’s relegation and they are very much on an upward trajectory under the management of Jim McGuinness.

The opposite is true of Kildare and they will now play Division Three football next year. Louth’s victory over Fermanagh earlier in the day meant that even though they had lost their opening five rounds in the league that matters were still in their own hands before the ball was thrown in, but they knew only a victory would give them a fighting chance of staying up heading in the final round of games.

Peadar Mogan was at the heart of the Donegal performance and contributed five points from play in an outstanding display.

Mogan was among the early scorers for Donegal as they led 0-4 to 0-2 but Kildare were moving well at that stage and they could even have been ahead had the otherwise excellent Kevin Feely not dragged his shot wide of the post after Niall Kelly put him through on goal in the seventh minute.

Most of Kildare’s attacks were going through Feely, but at the other end, Donegal had players popping from all over the field kicking points and they finished the game with nine different scorers. Michael Langan and Ciaran Thompson ended the first half with two points apiece as Donegal by 0-8 to 0-6 at the break.

The one thing lacking from Donegal’s opening half was a contribution from the inside line, but that changed early in the second half with Paddy McBrearty and Daire O’Baoill were on the scoresheet as they scored the first three points after the break.

By the time O’Baoill scored his second of the half in the 48th minute Donegal were five points clear and threatening to run away with it, but Kildare hauled themselves right back into the game a minute later when Daniel Flynn cut through the Donegal defence and set Alex Beirne up with a pass that he palmed into the net.

That brought Kildare back to within two points and at that stage it looked anybody’s game, but Donegal quickly regained control and Kildare failed to score in the last 20 minutes plus injury time. In the end, Donegal scored the last four points to secure the win and their promotion and the emotions in both squads at the final whistle could hardly have been more contrasting.

Scorers for Donegal: P Mogan 0-5, M Langan 0-3, C Thompson 0-2, D O’Baoill 0-2, P McBrearty 0-1, O Gallen 0-1 (m), C McGonagle 0-1, A Doherty 0-1, O Doherty 0-1.

Scorers for Kildare: A Beirne 1-3, K Feely 0-4 (2fs, 2ms), S Farrell 0-1.

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Aaron Doherty, Peadar Mogan; Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Shane O’Donnell; Hugh McFadden, Michael Langan; Ciaran Moore, Ciaran Thompson, Odhran Doherty; Paddy McBrearty, Oisin Gallen, Daire O’Baoill.

Subs: Jamie Brennan for McFadden, h/t; Jeaic McKelvey for O Doherty, 53; Niall O’Donnell for Moore, 56; Ronan Gallagher for Thompson, 68; Luke McGlynn for Thompson, 68.

Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Ryan Houlihan, Mick O’Grady, Ryan Burke; Paddy McDermott, Eoin Doyle, Jack Sargent; Aaron Masterson, Kevin O’Callaghan; Alex Beirne, Barry Kelly, Shane Farrell; Kevin Feely, Daniel Flynn, Niall Kelly.

Subs: Luke Killian for O’Callaghan, 52; Paddy Woodgate for B Kelly, 55; Shane O’Sullivan for 58; Brian Byrne for Houlihan, 59; Tony Archbold for Sargent, 69.

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down).

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By Ger McNally Sat 16th Mar

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