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We just got the breaks: Goal hero Kieran

By John Campbell

Just a matter of weeks ago Kieran Donaghy had all but resigned himself to the possibility that he was surplus to requirements in the Kerry squad.

A limited diet of action, the emergence of a galaxy of new players and the apparent belief that the route one policy which had been his bread and butter since coming into the side no longer held currency in the modern game persuaded him that the curtain was about to come down on his top-flight career.

It's all so different today, though. The Tyrone-born Kerry full-forward is on cloud nine, a man of the match performance in yesterday's stunning victory over Donegal having resurrected his career to such an extent that he is already focusing on 2015.

But even in the post-match euphoria that enveloped the Kerry dressing-room Donaghy's feet remained firmly planted on the ground.

"Look, I thought that when we played Galway maybe that this was a turning point for me when I was not required but then those games against Mayo brought fresh hope," said Donaghy.

He was brought on as a substitute in the drawn game against Mayo and started in the replay in Limerick.

"I have always believed anyway that I was only keeping the full-forward jersey warm for whoever might happen to come along.

"Kerry just keep producing good players and I am always conscious of this," admitted Donaghy.

The thunderous applause which heralded his exit from the proceedings in the 70th minute yesterday paid ample testimony to the imprint he had left on the game, his goal proving a particularly significant score coming as it did at a juncture when Donegal were gearing up for a last quarter onslaught.

"I was in the stand with the other substitutes and to be honest I couldn't bear to look when that last goalmouth scramble took place.

"Donegal were going for a goal and I was only too happy that we did not concede one.

"We had hoped going into the game that this would prove the case and that's how it turned out," declared Donaghy.

And he will certainly remember the goal he himself scored yesterday for some time to come.

"I'm not sure if the keeper stubbed his toe or what.

"I was trying to keep an eye on Eamonn McGee and the next thing the ball was in my hands and I just went for the net. I was glad to see the shot go in, it was a great feeling," beamed the Kerry full-forward.

Kerry deployed the route one policy with Donaghy their target man to good effect yesterday and for someone who is normally more associated with creating scores than taking them his 1-1 haul yesterday represents a healthy return.

"I suppose it does," smiled Donaghy. "But at the end of the day it does not matter who gets the scores as long as we win."

"We knew going into the game that Donegal would be well set up and would be difficult to break down and we had to be patient. We got a few breaks and that proved a big help."

Belfast Telegraph


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