White rescues draw for Donegal in tight finish

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship

Donegal 1-6 Kerry 0-9 


By Frank Craig 

Donegal pegged back Kerry in MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey as Susanne White held her nerve late on to split the spoils in this TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2 opener.

In dreadful conditions, nothing separated the sides at half-time as a Caoimhe Keon goal helped send Donegal in level at 1-3 to 0-6.

Niamh Ní Chonchúir had opened the scoring for the visitors but with Keon rattling the net for Donegal just four minutes in, the hosts stole an early march.

Anna Galvin and Danielle O’Leary then managed to tie matters up for a settled Kerry by the tenth minute.

Katie Dowds did hit back for Donegal but three Kingdom points on the bounce from of O’Leary, Lorraine Scanlon and captain Niamh Carmody helped open up a two-point advantage.

White reduced the margin after 18 minutes with a point from a free to make it 0-6 to 1-2.

But with conditions continuing to deteriorate and underfoot now extremely difficult, that was the end of the scoring action right up until the half-time hooter as Aussie Rules star and Donegal captain Niamh McLaughlin squared it.

Kerry jumped two clear once more at the start of the second half as Carmody and Scanlon lobbed over.

Another White free kept Donegal on the visitors’ coattails but a smart Emma Dineen clip, on the three-quarter hour mark doubled Kerry’s upper hand once more.

Nearing the final five minutes, the away side still led 0-9 to 1-4 but a searing Dowds break from the back saw her drive at goal just clear the crossbar. And with White nailing that pressure free at the end, the points were split.

Scorers – Donegal: S White 0-3f, C Keon 1-0, K Dowds 0-2, N McLaughlin 0-1.

Kerry: N Carmody 0-2,1f, D O’Leary 0-2, A Galvin 0-2, N Ní Chonchúir 0-1, L Scanlon 0-1, E Dineen 0-1.

DONEGAL: C Friel; S McLaughlin, A Temple Asokuh, E McGinley; K Dowds, N Boyle, T Hegarty; R Rodgers, N Carr; C Keon, N McLaughlin, A Boyle Carr; S White, K Herron, K Long. Subs: E Gallagher for A Boyle Carr (36), B McLaughlin for K Long (48), J McFadden for N Carr (55),

KERRY: C Butler; E Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, D Kearney, A Dillane; M O’Connell, L Scanlon; N Carmody, K Brosnan, A Galvin; N Ní Chonchúir, E Dineen, D O’Leary. Subs: H O’Donoghue for K Brosnan (44), A Harrington for M O’Connell (44), S O’Shea for N Ní Chonchúir (49), L Ní Mhuircheartaigh for E Dineen (57),

Referee: Shane Curley (Galway).




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