Mayo 3-11 Kerry 2-10
A second half goal scoring blitz was the difference in this Division 1 league meeting between the sides as Mayo claimed their first league title since 2001 at a sunny Croke Park on Sunday.
Mayo were down 2-03 to 0-05 at the break after Stephen O’Brien and Gavin Crowley raised green flags for Peter Keane’s men. However, Mayo put in a stirring second half display and outscored their opponents 3-06 to 0-07 to make sure the League title would be heading West. Sean O’Shea scored the opening point of the game Mayo replied through Fergal Boland and then Patrick Durcan gave them the lead on 10 minutes. Ruane fisted over in what looked like a good scoring opportunity. Kerry though opted to go for goal when they had the chance on 13 minutes David Clifford was allowed to much space and got behind the Mayo defence he then let the ball across the square to Gavin Crowley who did a nice dummy before expertly finishing past Robbie Hennellly. The Breaffy man made a couple of mistakes in the opening half, flapping at a ball that went out eventually for a 45, while also missing two 45’s for James Horan’s men. In a low scoring first half Jason Doherty kicked his first score on 24 minutes, Kerry still led by 1-03 to 0-04. However, Kerry would strike gold again with another well taken goal. This time Dara Moynihan picked out Stephen O’Brien who ran through the heart of the Mayo defence before finishing right in the corner. Mayo had a goal chance at the end of the half but Boland opted to fist over. 2-03 to 0-05 at the break.
Mayo kicked the first three points of the second half. James Carr kicked two points and then Darren Coen popped over a nice score after Carr was denied a goal after a good save by Shane Ryan. Kerry kicked two frees courtesy of O’Shea, Gavin Crowley also pointed after some good build up play. However, Mayo upped the pace the half back line was dominating, Lee Keegan and Paddy Durcan to the fore. The pressure eventually told when Matthew Ruane found the net after a one two with Coen. They kicked three points in a row then with Diarmuid O’Connor. Jack Barry had Kerry level though on 61 minutes with a tidy score, 2-08 to 1-11 now. Mayo though had goal number two on the board within minutes, Lee Keegan hit a high ball into the edge of the square, in which Diarmuid O’Connor got on the end of and flicked it to the net. Paul Geaney kicked a score to reduce the arrears to to.
Hennelly made a good save from a Clifford effort in injury time. However Clifford would kick a point to reduce the gap to just one . Mayo sealed the win a minute when Andy Moran accurately found Ciaran Tracey who finished to the net.
Kerry: Shane Ryan; Peter Crowley, Jack Sherwood, Graham O’Sullivan; Gavin Crowley (1-1), Paul Murphy (capt), Tom O’Sullivan; Jack Barry (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor; Dara Moynihan, Sean O’Shea (0-5), Stephen O’Brien (1-0); David Clifford (0-2), Tommy Walsh, Kevin McCarthy.
Subs: James O’Donoghue for Moynihan (h-t), Jason Foley for Sherwood (39), Mark Griffin for McCarthy (42), Paul Geaney (0-1) for Walsh (54), Gavin O’Brienb for G Crowley (65).
Mayo: Robert Hennelly; Chris Barrett , Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins ; Paddy Durcan (0-1), Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan; Matthew Ruane (1-1), Aidan O’Shea; Fergal Boland (0-2), Jason Doherty (0-2, 1f), Diarmuid O’Connor (capt) (1-2); Kevin McLoughlin, Darren Coen (0-1), James Carr (0-2,1f).
Subs: Colm Boyle for Vaughan (50), Andy Moran for Coen (51), Evan Regan for Carr (62), Ciaran Tracey (1-0) for Doherty (67).