Super-slick Dubs demolish Donegal to set up league final date with Kerry
Dublin 1-20 Donegal 0-13
It was all so easy for Dublin as they powered their way into a fourth successive Allianz football League final with a ten-point win over listless Donegal in Croke Park.
A goal by Bernard Brogan in the opening minute of the second half effectively settled a game that lacked the expected intensity.
Brogan’s goal put Dublin eight points clear and while Donegal were playing with the strong wind, they never looked like making serious inroads into the deficit.
Donegal’s defensive system malfunctioned and as the pace dropped, Dublin saw the game through with the utmost ease to book a place in the final, where they will play Kerry on Sunday week.
Dublin had no fewer than 11 scorers, with Dean Rock (0-5) and Brogan (1-2) leading the way.
Patrick McBrearty top-scored for Donegal on 0-8, with Michael Murphy, who was way below his best in general play, pointing four frees.
Dublin led by 0-11 to 0-6 after playing with a strong wind which blew into the Davin Stand end. The Dublin half-forward line of Paul Flynn, Paddy Andrews and Ciaran Kilkenny were especially effective while Paul Mannion was dangerous closer to goal.
Kilkenny kicked three points and Andrews scored two (all five from open play) while Dean Rock scored 0-4, 0-3 from frees.
Donegal had some success on counter-attacks and with Murphy doing well off frees they minimised the impact of the wind quite effectively. They were only three points adrift after 25 minutes before a strong Dublin finish took them five points clear at the interval.
They also came close to scoring a goal in the 28th minute but Brogan’s drive was blocked.
Brogan was not be denied just after half-time, pouncing with typical opportunism off an inch-perfect pass from Philly McMahon.
The attendance was 31,324
Scorers: Dublin: D Rock 0-5 (3f, 1’45’), B Brogan 1-2, C Kilkenny 0-3, P Andrews, P Mannion 0-2 each, J McCarthy, P McMahon, J Small, C Costello, J Cooper, E Lowndes 0-1 each.
Donegal: P McBrearty 0-8 (5f), M Murphy 0-4 (4f), McElhinney 0-1.
Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J Cooper, D Byrne; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, D Bastick; P Flynn, P Andrews, C Kilkenny; D Rock, P Mannion, B Brogan.
Subs: C Costello for Andrews (45), E Lowndes for Bastick (48), M Fitzsimons for McMahon (52), Shane B Carthy for Flynn (61), K O’Brien for Cooper (61), Shane Carthy for O’Sullivan (66), E Gallagher for McLoone (67), C Toye for Kavanagh (67).
Donegal: MA McGinley; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; R McHugh, K Lacey, C Gillespie; R Kavanagh, O MacNiallais; M O’Reilly, M McElhinney, F McGlynn; P McBrearty, M Murphy, L McLoone.
Subs: S McBrearty for O’Reilly (14), C McGonagle for MacNiallais (50), C McFadden for McElhinney (52), J O’Brien for Gillespie (71).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois)