Donegal 1-17 Kerry 2-17
Two goals from full-forward Paul Geaney proved enough for Kerry as they claimed deserved victory over Donegal in their Allianz Football League Division 1 clash in Letterkenny.
Before 6,320 spectators Donegal never looked like winning, but their finish to the game should provide some consolation to manager Rory Gallagher.
Donegal started without All Star full-back Neil McGee with Frank McGlynn coming in as replacement.
The youthful home side were 0-04 to 0-01 behind after 15 minutes as newcomer Jack Savage struck twice.
Donegal got back in the contest thanks to a great run from Marty O’Reilly, which drew a penalty, which Michael Murphy dispatched on 22 minutes.
The goal put Donegal ahead 1-02 to 0-04, but Kerry struck back immediately with Geaney finding the net and Donnchadh Walsh adding a point.
In the last ten minutes of the opening half, Kerry outscored the home team five points to one from Michael Murphy to leave it 1-11 to 1-05 at the break.
Donegal had the opening two points of the second half, but Kerry cancelled those with three of their own before Geaney struck for a second goal on 45 minutes to have them 2-14 to 0-08 ahead.
Donegal finished strongly, although never looking like getting on terms, and they hit some great points from Darach O’Connor and Ryan McHugh.
It wasn't the ideal day for Kerry as Shane Enright was forced from the field with a worrying-looking injury after just eight minutes.
Donegal: M A McGinley; P McGrath, C Ward, E Ban Gallagher; P Brennan (0-01), R McHugh (0-01); F McGlynn; J McGee, H McFadden; C Thompson (0-03), M Langan, M O’Reilly (0-01); P McBrearty (0-04,2f), M Murphy (1-03, 1-00 pen, 3f), J Brennan.
Subs: Eoin McHugh (0-01) for McGlynn (25); C Gibbons (0-01) for Langan (42); D O’Connor (0-02) for J Brennan (48); E Doherty for McGrath (49); E O’Donnell for O’Reilly (58); S McBrearty for McFadden (60)
Kerry: B Kelly; J Foley, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, K Young, T O’Sullivan (0-01); D Moran (0-01), T Morley; J Lyne (0-01), P Murphy (0-01), D Walsh (0-02); J Savage (0-03,1f), P Geaney (2-04, 0-2f), J O’Donoghue (0-03).
Subs: Jack Barry (0-1) for Enright (8); M Geaney for Lyne (49); B J Keane for O’Donoghue (52); Brendan O’Sullivan for Murphy (58); C Geaney for Savage (60); Barry O’Sullivan for Walsh (66)
Referee: M Deegan (Laois)
NEXT WEEK: Donegal make the trip to Dr Hyde Park to face Roscommon at 2.30 next Sunday, while Kerry will host Mayo in Tralee at 7pm on Saturday.