Football League Division One semi-final: Dublin outclass Donegal at Croke Park

Bernard Brogan battles with Donegal's Neil McGee at Croke Park
Bernard Brogan's goal ended Donegal's semi-final hopes at Croke Park

Dublin outclassed struggling Donegal on a 1-20 to 0-13 scoreline to set up a Football League Division One decider against Kerry on 24 April.

The Dubs were in control for the most part with a Bernard Brogan goal after half-time effectively ending the game.

That goal extended Dublin's lead to 1-11 to 0-6 and Donegal never threatened to fight back after that.

Donegal were suffering a fifth straight defeat which must be a worry for manager Rory Gallagher.

The 2012 All-Ireland champions, who looked a tired outfit during the contest, will not be in action again until their Ulster quarter-final against either Fermanagh or Antrim on 12 June.

From Dublin's perspective, the big plus from Sunday's game was the form of Brogan who looked back to his best after a comparatively quiet period in the blue jersey.

Paul Mannion and man of the match Ciaran Kilkenny also excelled in the Dublin attack with Philly McMahon and Jonny Cooper also highly impressive for a county chasing a fourth straight league title.

The statistic that may please Jim Gavin most of all is that 11 Dublin players notched scores in Sunday's game.

Donegal's Michael Murphy battles with Dublin's James McCarthy
Donegal captain Michael Murphy struggled to make an impression against James McCarthy

Donegal's Murphy has afternoon to forget

In contrast, Donegal's marquee forward Michael Murphy had an afternoon to forget as he was well shackled by James McCarthy and also fired a number of bad wides.

With Donegal having big problems winning their own kick-outs, two Dean Rock points helped Dublin move into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead as the Metropolitans played with a first-half wind advantage.

As Donegal began to win a few turnovers, they cut the lead to 0-6 to 0-4 helped by a fine Martin McElhinney point.

Dublin regained control to lead 0-9 to 0-4 and it could have been worse for Donegal at that stage as Rory Kavanagh needed to produce a full-length diving block to prevent Brogan from netting in the 29th minute.

Points from Paddy McBrearty, who finished with 0-8, and Murphy cut the lead to three by the 33rd minute but the Dubs responded with Mannion and McCarthy efforts before the break to give the interval margin a more accurate look.

And the game was effectively put to bed within a minute of the restart as a gorgeous McMahon pass picked out the unmarked Brogan who calmly slid the ball under Donegal keeper Marc Anthony McGinley.

The Dubs missed a number of other second-half goal opportunities with McGinley superbly saving a pointblank Mannion effort and Neil McGee diverting a a John Small shot over the bar.

Donegal were a well beaten team long before the end and manager Gallagher looks to have a major job on his hands to rejuvenate his side for the championship.

Allianz Football League Division 1 Semi-Final results

Dublin 1-20 0-13 Donegal

Kerry 3-15 0-14 Roscommon

Saturday's Hurling League results

Division One B promotion-relegation play-off

Laois 0-23 0-16 Westmeath

Division Two B promotion-relegation play-off

Donegal 4-09 3-13 Roscommon

Division Three A promotion-relegation play-off

Tyrone 1-23 1-19 Fermanagh (aet)