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Kerry defeated Mayo in MacHale Park 1-14 to 1-13 on Sunday. Mayo could have got an undeserving draw only for Keith Higgins late effort to go wide of the posts. Mayo to the credit though were 9 points down at one stage before the break.
Kerry made a dream start to this game with with Sean O’Shea grabbing a goal inside two minutes. They should have had another goal only for David Clifford’s penalty to come back off crossbar on five minutes. Mayo were very slow out of the blocks and it is obviously what cost them this game. Kerry led by 1-08 to 0-02 with 32 minutes played. Gavin White, Dara Moynihan, Tony Brosnan, Michael Burns and David Clifford (2) all raising white flags for Peter Keane’s side. Tom Parsons would get a Mayo point, there only score from play in the opening half. The gap was 1-08 to 0-04 at the break as Kevin McLoughlin tagged on two points for the hosts.
The second half was a different game altogether. James Horan obviously gave his side a stern dressing down at the interval. He brought on Eoin O’Donoghue, Eoghan McLaughlin and Tommy Conroy. All made an impact in the game to be fair. Mayo kicked four points in a row with Diarmuid O’Connor (2), Ryan O’Donoghue and Eoghan McLaughlin. Kerry did respond with scores from Sean O’Shea and David Clifford. Eoghan McLaughlin intercepted a pass from goalkeeper Shane Ryan before he found Aidan O’Shea who played the ball to McLaughlin to finish to the net.
Kevin McLoughlin kicked a long range free with four minutes into added time. There was still a chance for Mayo to tie up the game. The win now means Peter Keane’s side are still in contention of making another league final. They travel to Monaghan in two weeks time. Mayo will face Galway in Salthill also in two weeks time and they will need a win there if they are to avoid relegation.
Kerry: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan, T Morley, T O’Sullivan; P Murphy, S Enright, G White (0-01); D O’Connor, J Barry (0-01); M Burns (0-01), S O’Shea (1-04, 3fs), T Walsh; D Moynihan (0-01), D Clifford (0-03), T Brosnan (0-01).
Subs used: S O’Brien (0-01) for Burns (50mins); P Geaney (0-01) for Walsh (53mins); G Crowley for G O’Sullivan (63mins); K Spillane for Moynihan (65mins); L Kearney for Brosnan (72mins).
Mayo: D Clarke; J McCormack, O Mullin, L Keegan;, S Coen, K Higgins, P Durcan; A O’Shea (0-01), T Parsons (0-01); K McLoughlin (0-03, 2fs), D O’Connor (0-02, 2fs), J Durcan; J Flynn, D Coen (0-01, 1f), R O’Donoghue (0-01).
Subs used: E O’Donoghue (0-01) for Parsons (HT); E McLaughlin (1-01) for J Durcan; T Conroy (0-01) for D Coen (HT); P Towey (0-01, 1f) for Flynn (71mins).