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Published: 17:40 | 10/4/16

Ruthless Dubs despatch Donegal

Dublin to play Kerry in decider

Dublin closed on a fourth Allianz Football League title in a row as they easily despatched Donegal by 1-20 to 0-13 in their Division 1 semi-final clash at Croke Park.

Jim Gavin's side were in control from start to finish and will face Kerry in the decider in two weeks time after Eamon Fitzmaurice's side had earlier beaten Roscommon in another one-side affair.

The game started at a furious pace with Dean Rock registering a free inside the opening two minutes before Ciaran Kilkenny doubled the advantage with a well taken score which saw him cut in from the left before despatching the ball over the bar.

Paddy McBrearty reduced the arrears shortly afterwards before Paddy Andrews restored Dublin's two-point lead on nine minutes with a sublime score from a tight angle wide on the right.

Rock added his second of the game, this one from play, shortly afterwards to make it 0-04 to 0-01 as Donegal struggled to match Dublin's urgency and clever movement off the ball.

But Rory Gallagher's men fought back and two Michael Murphy frees left just one between the sides.

Rock was on target from close range with his second free of the day shortly afterwards to leave it at 0-05 to 0-03 after 18 minutes.

After Murphy had fallen short with a free into the breeze from distance, Kilkenny finished a fine move to leave three between the sides.

Martin McElhinney finished well from 25 yards before another Rock free restored Dublin's three-point lead.

Ryan McHugh produced a great block to deny Alan Brogan a certain goal before Andrews slotted his second score of the game and Kilkenny his third to put Dublin in command at 0-09 to 0-04 with half an hour played.

McBrearty reduced the arrears shortly afterwards, settling for a point when a goal seemed a realistic prospect before Murphy added his third free of the day to keep Donegal in touch.

However, late scores from Paul Mannion and James McCarthy ensured that Dublin had a healthy 0-11 to 0-06 lead at the break.

Dublin had a goal within a minute of the restart as Philly McMahon's superb running pass picked out Bernard Brogan who finished coolly from close range.

McBrearty responded for Donegal with a well-taken point, but further scores from Brogan and Rock from a 45 saw Dublin stretch their lead to nine with ten minutes of the second half gone.

Neil McGee did well to clear a John Small shot off the line as Dublin went in search of a second goal.

McBrearty and Murphy (2) were on target with further frees for Donegal who posted three in a row, but they were unable to create many opportunities from play, while Dublin, in contrast looked threatening every time they came forward and scores from Cormac Costello, Jonny Cooper and Eric Lowndes eased them into a 1-18 to 0-11 lead with seven minutes remaining.

Brogan added two excellent scores from play late on while McBrearty replied with two frees as Dublin cruised to a comfortable 1-20 to 0-13 victory.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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