Geraldine McLaughlin . . . 1-4 for Donegal
Donegal Ladies will not be happy with the referee after they lost out to a late Kerry surge in the league game at Rathmore.
Donegal led by 2-12 to 1-9 as the game entered the final quarter, but they lost Ciara Hegarty to a yellow card and Kerry hit 1-4 to deprive Donegal of anything from their long journey south.
Indeed the heartbreak included a 58th minute Kerry goal, which finally decided the issue in a game where both sides enjoyed stages of dominance.
For the Kingdom there was a lot at stake rooted to the bottom of the table after two rounds and it look like that form was to continue as Donegal sped into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead with just six minutes on the clock.
A brace by Karen Guthrie and a point apiece from Geraldine McLaughlin and Roisin Friel was just reward for their early pressure.
Kerry responded however with a goal on a counter attack when Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh got on to the end of a high ball to punch to the net, it was the start of a positive spell for Kerry, who were back in the lead by 15th minute 1-4 to 0-5.
Not for the first time in the contest, the pendulum would swing and Donegal hit four unanswered points in the five-minute period and they took a 1-10 to1-6 lead with them to the break.
Kerry were much focused at the start of the second half and had the game back to a point within seven minutes but Donegal through Geraldine McLaughlin found a little more delight through a goal and a point from the Termon girl. The goal was a thing of beauty as McLaughlin got onto a perfectly place long through ball from Friel.
However, it failed to reignite the Ulster side’s challenge and even with Guthrie's fifth point on the 47th minute, it was Kerry who were to finish the stronger by hitting 1-4 in the final quarter to see them out winners by a single score.
Ciara Hegarty’s yellow card in the last ten minutes became a burden too heavy to bear as the home side invaded the Donegal side of the pitch with constant attacks. The goal which clinched the points came in the 58th minute from Laura Rogers.
Kerry: Erris O’Carroll, Eilis Lynch, Caroline Kelly, Aislinn Desmond, Sarah Murphy, Anna Galvin, Ciara Murphy, Lorraine Scanlon, Amanda Brosnan, Laura Rogers (1-1), Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh (1-2,2f), Denise Hallissey, Sarah Houlihan (0-8,2f) , Megan O Connell, Miriam O Keeffe (0-1). Sub: Eilish O’Leary for O’Keefe (55)
Donegal: Laura Gallagher, Theresa Doherty, Ciara Hegarty, Kate Keaney, Therese McClafferty, Nicole McLaughlin, Katie Herron, Karen Guthrie (0-5 ,1f), Shannon McGroddy, Grainne Houston, Niamh Hegarty, Eilish Ward, Roisin Friel 0-1, Geraldine McLaughlin (1-4,2f), Paula McGrory (1-1). Subs: Kelly Wilson for McGroddy (47), Niamh McDaid for Houston (51)
Referee: Niall McCormack (Laois)