National Football League semi-finals: Dublin too strong for Donegal; Kerry hit Tyrone for six

Dublin and Kerry will share the Allianz Football League title for 2021, after wins over Donegal and Tyrone respectively.

Dublin 1-18 Donegal 1-14

1-3 without reply for Dublin saw the All-Ireland champions take control of the contest at Kingspan Breffni Park, and from there they looked comfortable in keeping their opponents at bay.

Kerry’s result earlier in the evening ensured there would be no Division 1 final in store for the winner. But the men from the capital nonetheless put in a professional performance, as they had too much for a Donegal team who were without the injured Michael Murphy.

The Ulster side took an early lead, with scores from Michael Langan, Patrick McBrearty and Caolan McGonagle keeping them ahead.

However, the 1-3 without reply in the space of five minutes turned the contest on its head.

Paddy Small raised the green flag, rounding Shaun Patton before sliding it into the net. It sent Dublin on their way, as they took a 1-8 to 0-7 lead into the break.

The Dubs registered the first three scores after the restart, as they looked to end the Donegal challenge.

McBrearty did carry the fight for Tír Chonaill, but Small and Cormac Costello continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Donegal substitute Eoghan McGettigan scored 1-1 after being introduced, but Dublin always looked in control as they saw out the four-point victory.

Dublin: Evan Comerford; Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne, Seán MacMahon (0-1); Eoin Murchan, James McCarthy, Brian Howard (0-1); Brian Fenton (0-1), Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne; Paddy Small (1-3), Con O’Callaghan (0-3), Niall Scully; Colm Basquel, Ciarán Kilkenny (0-2), Cormac Costello (0-6, 0-5f, 0-1 ’45).

Subs: Eric Lowndes for Eoin Murchan (half-time), Seán Bugler for Colm Basquel (50th minute), Aaron Byrne (0-1) for Niall Scully (54th minute), Tom Lahiff for Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne (54th minute), Conor McHugh for Ciarán Kilkenny (61st minute), Philly McMahon for Michael Fitzsimons (61st minute), Shane Carthy for Paddy Small (68th minute).

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Stephen McMenamin, Eoin McHugh, Brendan McCole (0-1); Ryan McHugh, Odhrán McFadden Ferry, Ethan O’Donnell; Caolan McGonagle (0-2), Hugh McFadden; Ciaran Thompson, Odhrán Mac Niallais (0-1), Niall O’Donnell (0-1); Patrick McBrearty (0-6, 0-2f, 0-1m), Michael Langan (0-2), Oisin Gallen.

Subs: Conor O’Donnell for Odhrán Mac Niallais (29th minute), Caolan Ward for Stephen McMenamin (half-time), E Doherty for Odhrán McFadden Ferry (54th minute), Eoghan McGettigan (1-1) for Oisin Gallen (54th minute), Daire Ó Baoill for Niall O’Donnell (57th minute), Jason McGee for Hugh McFadden (57th minute), Tony McCleneghan for Eoin McHugh (63rd minute).

Kerry 6-15 Tyrone 1-14

Kerry beat Niall Morgan six times in Killarney, as the Kingdom dished out a 16-point drubbing to Tyrone.

Similar to their win over Galway last month, Peter Keane’s charges showed their appetite for goals and put the contest to bed early.

They had found the net three times by the first water-break. David Clifford started the rout, firing in from the penalty spot.

The second was a freak goal, as Gavin White lobbed Morgan from over 45 yards. The Dr Crokes star won the kick-out, and his long shot landed in the net before the goalkeeper could scramble back from the tee on the ’21’.

A Paul Geaney brace and a Dara Moynihan goal followed, as Tyrone were left shell-shocked at half-time, trailing 5-6 to 0-7.

The Red Hands’ bench did make an impact, with Tiernan McCann finding the net. But Kerry continued to pour forward. Jack Barry pounced for a goal when the ball broke to him, after Morgan beat Tommy Walsh under a high ball.

A disappointing evening for Tyrone was compounded by injury to Darragh Canavan, as doubts now surround the Errigal Ciarán star ahead of the Ulster Championship quarter-final against Cavan on July 10.

Kerry: Kieran Fitzgibbon; Brian O Beaglaoich, Jason Foley (0-1), Tom O’Sullivan; Mike Breen (0-1), Gavin Crowley, Gavin White (1-0); Diarmuid O’Connor, Adrian Spillane; Stephen O’Brien, Sean O’Shea (0-3, 0-1 free), Paul Geaney (2-0); David Clifford (1-6, 1-0p, 0-4f), Dara Moynihan (1-0), Paudie Clifford.

Subs: Micheál Burns (0-2) for Paul Geaney (43rd minute), Tommy Walsh for Paudie Clifford (43rd minute), Killian Spillane (0-2) for Stephen O’Brien (50th minute), Jack Barry (1-0) for Seán O’Shea (54th minute), Joe O’Connor for Dara Moynihan (60th minute), Jack Sherwood for Gavin White (60th minute), Paul O’Shea for Adrian Spillane (63rd minute), Graham O’Sullivan for Mike Breen (73rd minute).

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Cormac Munroe, Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey; Michael McKernan, Peter Harte (0-1), Liam Rafferty; Mattie Donnelly (0-1), Frank Burns; Kieran McGeary (0-3), Darragh Canavan, Conor Meyler; Darren McCurry (0-3, 0-1f), Conor McKenna, Paul Donaghy (0-1, 0-1f).

Subs: Mark Bradley (0-1) for Darragh Canavan (8th minute), Tiernan McCann (1-0) for Cormac Munroe (23rd minute), Richard Donnelly (0-1) for Frank Burns (half-time), Ronan O’Neill (0-1) for Paul Donaghy (37th minute), Rory Brennan (0-1) for Michael McKernan (46th minute), Niall Sludden (0-1) for Liam Rafferty (46th minute).

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