All-Ireland SFC final: Kerry 2-9 0-12 Donegal

Kieran Donaghy of Kerry in possession against Donegal's Neil McGee and Leo McLoone
Kerry won the 2014 All-Ireland football final against Donegal

There was despair for Donegal in the All-Ireland football final as a blunder by keeper Paul Durcan proved a pivotal moment in Kerry's 2-9 to 0-12 victory.

Donegal were just one point behind when Durcan kicked the ball straight to Kieran Donaghy, who took the chance to score the second goal.

Paul Geaney netted the other goal in the first minute but Donegal battled back and led early in the second half.

Donegal nearly grabbed a draw when Colm McFadden's late effort hit a post.

But, in the end, it was a 37th Sam Maguire Cup for Kerry, leaving Jim McGuinness's men to reflect on what might have been.

Final scorers
Donegal: Murphy 0-4, McFadden 0-1, MacNiallais 0-1, Lacey 0-1, McBrearty 0-2, N McGee 0-1, Molloy 0-1, Toye 0-1
Kerry: P Geaney 1-2, Donaghy 1-2, Murphy 0-1, Keane 0-2, Buckley 0-1, Sheehan 0-1

The big talking point will be the costly mistake by Durcan. The keeper, who made a critical save from Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly in the semi-final, had been taking short kick-outs during the game.

In a moment which will haunt the 2012 All Star winner, Durcan gifted the ball to Donaghy, who gratefully went on to shoot past the stranded keeper.

The bookmakers had made Donegal slight favourites, based on the Ulster county's shock win over the heavily-fancied Dublin in the semi-finals.

But it was Kerry who got a dream start when 23-year-old student Geaney beat defender Paddy McGrath to a high ball and scored the first-minute goal.

Kerry's Paul Geaney scored his first ever Championship goal in the first minute of the All-Ireland final
Kerry's Paul Geaney scored his first ever Championship goal in the first minute of the All-Ireland final

It was a first ever Championship goal for Dingle man Geaney who led University College Cork to Sigerson Cup success earlier in the year.

Donaghy then landed a free for Kerry as Donegal struggled to get out of the blocks.

Skipper Michael Murphy settled his side with three frees, while Geaney slotted one over for Kerry.

Geaney could have got another goal but blazed a shot over when he should have found the net.

McFadden converted an easy free for Donegal, who got their first score from play when Odhran Mac Niallais clipped the ball over in the 28th minute.

Kieran Donaghy scored Kerry's second goal after a mistake by Donegal keeper Paul Durcan
Kieran Donaghy scored Kerry's second goal after a mistake by Donegal keeper Paul Durcan

Karl Lacey, the 2012 footballer of the year, then scored from play to leave the sides level at half-time, Kerry on 1-3 and Donegal 0-6.

A long-range effort by Murphy edged Donegal into the lead for the first time but Paul Murphy quickly replied for the Kingdom.

For a spell, scores were hard to come by, with defences very much on top.

Kerry substitute Barry John Keane landed a simple free and then keeper Durcan's blunder gifted Donaghy his 12th goal in Championship football to put four points between the sides, 2-5 to 0-7.

Final facts
It was the first time Donegal and Kerry had met in the All-Ireland football final
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has a part-time role as youth academy performance consultant with Scottish Premier League champions Celtic
Donegal pulled off a big upset by beating holders Dublin in the semi-final - the bookies had them 7/1 and the Dubs 1/10

Patrick McBrearty, a replacement for Ryan McHugh, boosted Donegal with two quick-fire points and defender Neil McGee advanced to cut the deficit to just one.

That was to be as close as Donegal would get, though, as Johnny Buckley, Keane, Donaghy and Bryan Sheehan added to Kerry's tally.

The Ulster men piled forward in the last minute and almost snatched a dramatic draw when McFadden's effort hit a post.

Kerry: Brian Kelly; Marc O Se, Aidan O'Mahony, Fionn Fitzgerald (captain); Paul Murphy, Peter Crowley, Killian Young; Anthony Maher, David Moran; Stephen O'Brien, Johnny Buckley, Donnchadh Walsh; Paul Geaney, Kieran Donaghy, James O'Donoghue. Subs: Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright, Michael Geaney, Declan O'Sullivan, Bryan Sheehan, Barry John Keane, Darran O'Sullivan, Kieran O'Leary, Jonathan Lyne, Mark Griffin, Pa Kilkenny.

Donegal: Paul Durcan; Eamonn McGee, Neil McGee, Paddy McGrath; Anthony Thompson, Karl Lacey, Frank McGlynn; Neil Gallagher, Odhran Mac Niallais; Darach O'Connor, Leo McLoone, Ryan McHugh; Rory Kavanagh, Michael Murphy (captain), Colm McFadden. Subs: Michael Boyle, Christy Toye, David Walsh, Declan Walsh, Dermot Molloy, Hugh McFadden, Leon MacThomais, Luke Keaney, Martin McElhinney, Martin O'Reilly, Patrick McBrearty.

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