Published Sunday, 05 August 2012
Donegal's Martin McElhinney and Kieran Donaghy of Kerry. (© Presseye)
Jim McGuiness's side looked to be on course for a comfortable victory as they built up a six points lead as the game entered the final quarter.
But a late goal gave the Kingdom fresh hope and it took a stoppage time score from Karl Lacey to clinch a two points win for Donegal and a meeting with Cork in the last four.
Colm McFadden got Donegal off to a dream start when he curled the ball into the net direct from the sideline after only three minutes.
Donegal held most of the aces in the first half though they had just a two points lead, 1-4 to 0-5 at the break.
Kerry scored two of the first three points of the second half but a brace of frees from Michael Murphy increased the gap to three points.
Colin Cooper sent over a free to cut the margin again but Donegal then hit a purple patch.
A superb score from McFadden was followed by two more excellent efforts from Paddy McBrearty and sub Christy Toye before David Walsh got in on the act.
Those four unanswered points put Donegal 1-11 to 0-8 ahead with under 10 minutes left.
But Kieran Donaghy's goal - which looked suspiciously like a 'square ball' - set up a grandstand finish.
Kerry tagged on two points to leave just one between the sides with the game in stoppage time.
But Kerry failed to regain possession from the kick-out and Donegal went up to the other end of the pitch for Lacey to add the insurance score.