Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Lacey fires Donegal through to All Ireland semi final

Donegal's Paddy McBrearty and Mark McHugh celebrate

Donegal 1-12 Kerry 1-10: Donegal edged past Kerry and through to the All-Ireland semi-final after absorbing clash in Croke Park.



Donegal looked to have everything wrapped up when a Colm McFadden free put them six points to the good with three minutes left of normal time but a quick fire 1-2 from the Kingdom, including a Kieran Donaghy goal and points from Paul Galvin and Antony Maher, left the minimum between the sides.



And deep in injury time Kerry worked Patrick Curtin into a position to equalise but he dragged his shot wide before Karl Lacey rushed up field for the insurance score to settle an enthralling finale.



The first half was a tactical affair with heavy hits going in on both sides. Donegal players Paddy McBrearty and Anthony Thompson suffered a nasty clash of heads when they collided while Kerry’s Eoin Brosnan was also forced from the field but the significant score of the half came after just eight minutes.



Not for the first time this weekend, the Donegal goal had a large slice of luck about it. Colm McFadden dropped a sideline short but Michael Murphy’s presence was enough to put goalkeeper Brendan Kealy and Aidan O’Mahony off and McFadden’s effort flew straight into the net.



Kerry then took control and landed the next three points but Donegal settled again and Colm Cooper and McFadden swapped points to leave two between the sides at the break (1-4 to 0-5). However, it could have been even better for the Ulster men but Michael Murphy pulled a late free wide.



Kerry lost Bryan Sheehan to injury in the second half and while they battled bravely they couldn’t get on level terms and Donegal prevailed in what was a first championship meeting between the sides.