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Kerry finish with 13 men but hold strong against Mayo to claim victory in Castlebar

Gavin Crowley hit Kerry’s only goal of the game.

Kerry 1-15
Mayo 2-9

Colm Gannon reports from Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar

KERRY SURVIVED PLAYING the last 21 minutes of this one with 13 men to pick up their second win in six days in Castlebar tonight. The resolve shown by the Kingdom in seeing this one out will be something that Eamon Fitzmaurice will have been delighted to see.

Shane Nally with Paul Geaney and Sean OÕShea Mayo's Shane Nally with Kerry's Paul Geaney and Sean O’Shea. Source: John McVitty/INPHO

But for Mayo manager Stephen Rochford he will be disappointed that his side couldn’t find the scores they needed when it came to crunch down the home straight.

The Kerry defence stood strong and choked Mayo’s attempts to close a four point gap in the closing stages of this game to record a win that will have warmed the hearts of their supporters on the long journey home.

The Munster men went in leading by a point at the break, but that was wiped out by a Jason Doherty free seconds after the restart. But the decisive score in this contest came three minutes later when Gavin Crowley got on the end of a move involving Séan O’Shea and Barry John Keane to rifle the ball to the net and put his side into a 1-10 to 2-4 lead.

Diarmuid O’Connor hit a point in response for Mayo, but O’Shea and Paul Geaney kicked points to keep the scoreboard moving for Kerry.

The first half had been a fractious affair but midway through the second half it ramped up a notch and in the space of three minutes Kerry saw two men go to the line with Ronan Shanahan getting shown his second yellow card and three minutes later Gavin Crowley joined him, getting a black card to go with the yellow he’s been shown earlier.

Ronan Shanahan receives a red card Kerry's Ronan Shanahan was sent-off tonight. Source: John McVitty/INPHO

At that stage Kerry were leading 1-14 to 2-7 and it looked like Mayo would have all the time they needed to pick off the shorthanded Kerrymen.

But Eammon Fitzmaurice’s men fell back and put a bank of 11 men behind the ball and left Paul Geaney up front on his own to cause Mayo as many headaches as he could.

The Dingle man did just that kicking his sides last score 12 minutes from time to keep the gap at four points. Mayo’s best goal chance fell to corner back Eoin O’Donoghue nine minutes from time, but his effort was brilliantly blocked on the line by Shane Enright.

Mayo’s composure let them down at the crunch in front of the posts over the final ten minutes, with even Cillian O’Connor missing three attempts from dead balls.

Aidan O’Shea with Paul Geaney and Jack Barry Kerry and Mayo players rise for possession. Source: John McVitty/INPHO

The first half was played at championship intensity with both sides putting in hard hits all over the park, but the two defining moments in it were the two penalties awarded by referee Derek O’Mahony.

The first went to the Kingdom after Geaney was fouled by Brendan Harrison 24 minutes in. The spot kick was taken by O’Shea but his effort was brilliantly saved by David Clarke down low to his left. If he had found the net O’Shea would have put his side six points clear.

Sean O’Shea misses a penalty Penalty missed by Kerry's Sean O'Shea in Castlebar tonight. Source: John McVitty/INPHO

The second penalty came a minute before the end of normal time, Neil Douglas was hauled down and Diarmuid O’Connor standing in for his brother and normal Mayo penalty taker Cillian drove the ball to the net for his and Mayo’s second goal of the first half.

That was followed by a pointed free from Jason Doherty to send Mayo in trailing on a score of 2-3 to 0-10 at the turn around.

Kerry were more than impressive in attacking form from play landing all ten of their scores from open field action. O’Shea kicked three with Micheál Burns and Barry John Keane both chipping in with two each.

David Clifford also got in on the action but he was forced from the play with an injury just after scoring his point 15 minutes in.

Kerry led by 0-5 to 0-2 on the ten minute mark, with O’Connor’s first goal bringing the game level 12 minutes in. From there on until his next major Kerry were completely on top reeling off another five points and leaving at least three more behind them.

Kerry players celebrate at the final whistle Kerry players celebrate their victory. Source: John McVitty/INPHO

Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea 0-4 (0-1 ’45), Paul Geaney 0-3, BJ Keane 0-2, Gavin Crowley 1-0, Mícheál Burns 0-2, David Clifford, Brendan O’Sullivan, Paul Murphy, Barry O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Diarmuid O’Connor 2-1 (1-0 pen), Jason Doherty 0-3 (0-3f), Cillian O’Connor 0-2 (0-2f), Barry Moran, Evan Regan (0-1f), Andy Moran (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Kerry

1. Shane Murphy (Dr Crokes)

2. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe)
7. Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks)

8. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)
9. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)

10. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes)
11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15. Barry John Keane (Keirns O’Rahillys)

Subs

19. Jack Savage (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Clifford (inj) (17),
17. Brendan O’Sullivan (Valentia) for O’Brien (44)
25. Andrew Barry (Na Gaeil) for Keane (53)
21. Matthew Flaherty (Dingle) for O’Shea (55)
26. Éanna Ó Conchúir (An Ghaeltacht) for Burns (59)
18. Cormac Coffey (Kerins O’Rahillys) for ÓBeaglaoich (black card) (66)

Mayo

1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
3. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)
4. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet)

9. Shane Nally (Garrymore)
6. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)
7. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

8. Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber)
21. Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels)

10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

13. Neil Douglas (Castlebar Mitchels)
14. Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites)
25. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)

Subs

19. Caolan Crowe (Garrymore) for Cafferkey (23)
22. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber) for Regan (46)
15. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for Douglas (52)
5. Colm Boyle (Davitts) for Nally (52)
24. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for B Moran (63)
23. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers) for Doherty (74)

Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Colm Gannon

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