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Clifford grabs 1-6 as Kerry claim league title with 15-point hammering of Mayo

Clifford, Gavin White and Jason Foley all scored goals in Croke Park.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Kerry 3-19

Mayo 0-13

Colm Gannon reporting from Croke Park

JACK O’CONNOR ended his first league campaign in his third stint as Kerry boss with the division one league title, which the wrapped up in impressive style against Mayo.

From the moment Gavin White hit the back of the Mayo net 25 minutes in the Kingdom were in complete control of this game, with David Clifford’s goal four minutes from the end of normal time the coup de grâce on a towering performance from the Fossa man. 

Mayo lost Oisin Mullin from their starting team that was announced before the game, to add to the loss of Paddy Durcan and Brendan Harrison from their defence already, but did get some welcome game time into Cillian O’Connor for the first time this year.

paul-geaney-and-goalkeeper-rory-byrne Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Kerry kept Mayo at arm’s length throughout the second half, with Clifford, Geaney and Adrian Spillane all impressing and Jason Foley’s goal deep in injury time stretching the gap at the end out to 15 points. 

Kerry led by six at the break on a score of 1-10 to 0-7 and it could have been more had they taken more of the guilt-edged goal chances they created.

Gavin White was the man who got their goal in the first half, charging down the Cusack Stand side of the field, laying the ball off to Paul Geaney and chasing after it to fist home after Geaney’s shot had been saved by Rory Byrne – that score put six between he sides for the first time.

Mayo had stuck with Kerry early doors, but David Clifford was able to help himself to four first-half points as Mayo struggled to keep pace with Kerry. James Carr was one of the bright lights for Mayo kicking two scores, but they were second best on the field in too many areas in the opening 35 minutes. 

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford (1-6, 1f), Paul Geaney (0-5, 1f), Gavin White (1-0), Jason Foley (1-0), Adrian Spillane (0-2), Paudie Clifford (0-2, 1 45), Stephen O’Brien (0-1), Jack Barry (0-1), Dara Moynihan (0-1), Shane Ryan (0-1, 1f)

Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue (0-5, 4f), James Carr (0-2), Michael Plunkett (0-2), Jordan Flynn (0-1), Matthew Ruane (0-1), Conor Loftus (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-1, 1f)

Kerry:

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Graham O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromoda), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Gavin White (Dr Crokes) 6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe) 7. Brian Ó’Beaglaoích (An Ghaeltacht)

 8. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Geil) 9. Jack Barry (Na Gael)

 10. Dara Moynihan (Spa) 11. Paudie Clifford (Fossa) 12. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)

13. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks) 14. David Clifford (Fossa) 15. Paul Geaney (Dingle)

Subs: 23. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) for White, 21. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for Spillane, 20. Joe O’Connor (Austin Stacks) for Barry, 19. Jack Savage (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Moynihan 

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Mayo

1. Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels)

 2. Lee Keegan (Westport) 3. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) 4. Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites)

 5. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber) 18. Rory Brickenden (Westport) 7. Enda Hession (Garrymore)

 8. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers) 9. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)

 10. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers) 11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy) 12. Jack Carney (Kilmeena)

 13. James Carr (Ardagh) 14. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole) 15. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet) 

Subs: 20. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for Carney, 21. Conor O’Shea (Breaffy) for Flynn, 25. Aiden Orme (Knockmore) for Doherty, 26. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber) for Carr, 23. Darren McHale (Knockmore) for Ruane. 

Ref: Noel Mooney (Cavan) 

About the author:

Colm Gannon

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