Donegal lose out to Kerry in First League game

Final Score: 1-17- 2-17

Donegal fell to a defeat in their first league game of the year at home to a strong Kerry side, in O'Donnell Park.

Defensive frailties cancelled out a good performance from Donegal's forward line with Kerry putting 2-17  past Rory Gallagher's side.

The game was no sooner started until it was stopped again with Kerry's Shane Enright going down with an injury, which after 7 minutes of medical attention forced him off the field.

It was the visitors that took an early lead, but Patrick McBrearty leveled it with his first point of the game.

Kerry league debutante, Jack Savage started brightly and found himself on the score sheet twice as the away side took a two point lead.

After missing a free from a similar position earlier in the game, Michael Murphy gathered himself well to get Donegal's second point of the game from a 35 metre free.

He then gave Donegal the lead after Marty O'Reilly was deemed to be fouled inside the penalty area- with Murphy tucking away the resulting penalty.

But, a goal and a point from Kerry followed soon after and Rory Gallagher's men were trailing once more.

From here, the home side really struggled to withstand pressure from Eamon Fitzmaurice's men- conceding five points on the trot before the referee blew the whistle for halftime with the scoreline at 1-05- 1-11.

In the second half, it would take a great performance from a young, inexperienced Donegal side to pull the game back- and they started brightly with Ciaran Thomspon knocking over a point two minutes in.

However, poor defensive shape from Donegal was punished once again by Kerry, with James Donaghue getting one of three unanswered Kerry points.

And for the 6320 supporters at the game, the victory was all but secured eight minutes into the second half, with the Kingdom firing home their second goal of the game to go nine points ahead.

While Donegal's forward line tried their hardest to reduce the deficit, defensive frailties meant that it was all in vain with the away side matching them point for point.

However, Kerry showed that you cannot show any complacency at this level of football and soon Donegal had scored four successive points and looked to crawl back the game.

What should have been a heavy victory for Kerry ended up with a respectable result for Donegal who pushed hard in the end, but just didn't have enough to get passed an experienced side.

All in all, a performance that Donegal will hope they can build upon.