When? April 2, 1995
What? National Football League playoffs
Wh0? Donegal 1-16 Kildare 0-11
Whistler? Michael Curley, Galway
IT was a period when Donegal were the National League specialists, even though their top quality performances in the competition didn’t eventually yield a title.
Their team at that time in the mid-nineties, of course, still contained many of the 1992 heroes. This game against Kildare in a playoff saw them win comfortably before an attendance of 14,000.
For all that Kildare did enjoy spells of dominance. But the game changed in double-quick time when thanks to a brilliant counter-attack. Donegal goalkeeper, Gary Walsh, saved at one end and the ball was moved upfield where Tony Boyle picked out Brian Murray for a well-taken goal.
A further point from John Duffy emphasised their control as the Leinster side struggled to respond.
While Kildare did lead by 0-9 to 0-4, there was no doubting that Donegal were now very much in the ascendancy. That control was reflected on the scoreboard in the second half.
John Duffy, Manus Boyle, Brian Murray, Mark McShane, James McHugh and John Ban Gallagher were all among the scorers for Donegal as they enjoyed a very significant 15 point turnaround to emerge as the winners.
They went on to reach the final, too, only to see their hopes dashed when they lost to Dublin.