Wake up call for Donegal
Kildare 1-17Donegal 1-9
Donegal got a reality check when they were well and truly beaten by Kildare in St Conleth's Park, Newbridge.
The Ulster side had the first point inside a minute from a Michael Murphy free, but the home side then took complete control hitting points at will from Ken Donnelly, John Doyle and Karl Ennis, while a goal from corner-back Gary White on 20 minutes had them 1-5 to 0-1 in front.
Donegal got a fortunate goal from David Walsh some minutes later but by half-time Kildare were still in control, leading 1-8 to 1-2.
It got little better for the visitors in the second half as Kildare kept a firm grip, especially through their midfield pairing of Dermot Earley and Daryl Flynn with Donnelly and Doyle helping themselves to further points.
Kieran McGeeney's Kildare never looked like loosening their grip and they kept Donegal well at bay and a couple of late points from Michael Murphy only served to put a better look on the scoreboard. They were able to withdraw the likes of Doyle and Earley in the closing stages and Donegal will need to improve greatly when they host Down in Ballybofey on Saturday night next.
Afterwards manager John Joe Doherty offered no excuses. “We never reached the intensity required and it was a reality check for us,” he said. “We expected to perform better than this.”
Kildare: Corley, McGrillen, Hendy, Bolton, Cribbin, Scanlon, White (1-0), Flynn (0-1), Earley (0-2), Whyte, O'Neill (0-2), Doyle (0-5,2f), Donnelly (0-4), Kavanagh, Ennis (0-2,2f). Subs: Sweeney (for Whyte), Heffernan 0-1 (for Ennis); Lynch (for Earley), Brennan 0-1 (for Doyle), Foley (for White).
Donegal: Boyle; Keaney, McGee, Lacey, Thompson, McGlynn, Cassidy, Gallagher, Monaghan, McNulty, Walsh (1-1), Griffin, McFadden (0-2,1f), Murphy (0-4,2f), Dunne. Subs: McLoone 0-1 (for McNulty), Waide (for Keaney), Dunnion (for McGlynn), Hanlon 0-1 (for Walsh).
Referee: M Collins (Cork).