Football League, Division One: Dublin 0-20 0-15 Donegal

Colm Basquel gets in a shot despite Hugh McFadden's efforts
Newcomer Colm Basquel hit four points for the Dubs at Croke Park
Allianz Football League
Date: 11 February Coverage: Live on Radio Ulster 1341 MW and BBC Sport website - 13:45 GMT Sunday

Donegal's brave effort came up short at Croke Park as Dublin finished strongly to win 0-20 to 0-15 in a thrilling Football League Division One game.

Dublin led 0-11 to 0-5 at the break but a superb Paddy McBrearty hit six second-half points as the margin was cut to 0-14 to 0-13 after 53 minutes.

However a missed 21-metre free by substitute Michael Murphy seemed to halt Donegal's momentum.

They stay without a Division One point as Dublin earned a third straight win.

The always industrious Ryan McHugh and Jamie Brennan got the Ulster men off to a bright and breezy start with tidy scores, but Dublin were ahead by the 10th minute, easing into their stride and picking off scores through Colm Basquel, Niall Scully and Paddy Andrews.

Ciaran Kilkenny and Basquel, despite missing a glorious goal chance as he blazed over, stretched the advantage as Dublin began to run though Donegal at will.

Donegal countered for scores from Leo McLoone and McHugh, but Niall Scully was the perfect outlet, hitting his fourth point from play as the All-Ireland champions pulled six points clear.

With his team badly struggling to win their own kickouts, Declan Bonner substituted Dublin native Nathan Mullins in the 27th minute although at stage, such was the home side's dominance, a number of Donegal players could have been the unlucky man.

Managers Declan Bonner and Jim Gavin shakes hands after the Croke Park contest
Both managers will take positives from Saturday evening's contest

Brennan hits Dublin woodwork in key moment

In stoppage time, McBrearty picked out Jamie Brennan with an exquisite pass but the corner forward smashed his shot against a post with Stephen Cluxton beaten.

A goal would have narrowed the gap to two points, but it was the Dubs who went in at the break leading by six, 0-11 to 0-5.

Straight from the throw-in, Brian Fenton hit his second point, but Donegal continued to commit men to the offensive effort and were rewarded with scores from the McBrearty brothers, Paddy and Stephen, and Mark McHugh.

Courage and confidence, allied to a positive attitude, kept Donegal very much on the attack, and with 20 minutes to play, they trailed by just a point, thanks to the brilliant finishing of Paddy McBrearty and his younger sibling.

They had hit four on the trot, with the Dubs going ten minutes without a score, until Basquel knocked over a free, before Murphy missed his 21-metre chance seconds after he had come on for his first action of the season.

McLoone was inspired at the back for Donegal, with McBrearty on fire as he squeezes over a couple of outrageous scores from tight angles on the left.

For a second time, McBrearty cut the gap to the minimum, but the mentally tough Dubs were able to step up the tempo late on, with Ciaran Kilkenny directing operations, and the scores flowed from Paul Mannion, and subs Eoghan O'Gara, Ciaran Reddin and Paddy Small.

Dublin: S Cluxton; D Byrne, P McMahon, E Lowndes (0-1); J Cooper, J McCarthy, J Small; B Fenton (0-2), MD Macauley; B Howard (0-1), C Kilkenny (0-2), N Scully (0-4); P Mannion (0-2, 1f), C Basquel (0-4, 1f), P Andrews (0-1). Subs: E O'Gara (0-1) for Andrews (45), C O'Sullivan for McMahon (45), D Rock for Macauley (64), C Reddin (0-1) for Scully (72), P Small (0-1) for Basquel (72)

Donegal: P Boyle; T McClenaghan, C Ward, EB Gallagher, R McHugh (0-2), L McLoone (0-1), M McHugh (0-1); N Mullins, H McFadden; E Doherty; S McBrearty (0-2), C Thompson; P McBrearty (0-7, 3f), O MacNiallais, J Brennan (0-2). Subs: C McGonagle for Mullins (26), N O'Donnell for Thompson (42), M Murphy for MacNiallais (55), C McGinley for M McHugh (64), M O'Reilly for S McBrearty (68), P Brennan for R McHugh (72)

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)

GAA National Football League Division One
Saturday, 10 February
Sunday, 11 February
GalwayvMayoPearse Stadium (14:00 GMT)
KildarevTyroneNewbridge (14:00 GMT)
MonaghanvKerryInniskeen (14:00 GMT)
Division Two
Sunday, 11 February - 14:00
ClarevTipperaryCusack Park
Cavan vMeathKingspan Breffni
CorkvLouthPairc Ui Rinn
RoscommonvDownDr Hyde Park
GAA National Football League Division Three
Sunday, 11 February
ArmaghvLongfordGaelic Grounds (14:00 GMT)
DerryvOffalyCeltic Park (14:00 GMT)
SligovFermanaghMarkievicz Park (14:00 GMT)
WexfordvWestmeathWexford Park (14:00 GMT)
GAA National Football League Division Four
Saturday, 10 February
Sunday, 11 February
LondonvLimerickRuislip (13:00 GMT)
AntrimvWicklowCorrigan Park (14:00 GMT)

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