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Kerry too strong for Mayo and set up All-Ireland semi-final clash with Dublin

71,353 the attendance in Croke Park today.

Kerry 1-18

Mayo 0-13

WHEN THE MAYO storm arrived in Croke Park, Kerry stood up to weather it and sail clear into the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

david-clifford-with-oisin-mullin Kerry's David Clifford with Mayo's Oisin Mullin. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

The third quarter of this afternoon’s tie saw Kerry facing their first prolonged examination of this championship. Their performance had been patchy and lethargic, Mayo were playing with plenty energy as they moved within a point of Kerry on the scoreboard. 

But James Horan’s side had a wretched second half in front of goal, missing 13 chances for points between wides, shots that dropped short and a Paddy Durcan effort that knocked against the upright. When the game was there for them to grasp they didn’t possess the attacking class and poise necessary.

It was a grim second half for James Horan’s team in front of the posts. James Carr’s 48th minute point preceded a 20-minute scoring drought until Jordan Flynn raised a white flag in the 68th minute. In the interim Kerry had notched seven unanswered points, a scoring streak that was sufficient to decide as they pulled clear with the Dingle pair of man-of-the-match Tom O’Sullivan and Paul Geaney showing the way.

paul-geaney-celebrates Paul Geaney celebrates a point. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The build-up in Kerry was dominated by the worries over the fitness of David Clifford. The team medics were in to look at him during the first half and Oisin Mullin stuck tight to frequently prevent him winning clean ball.

But Clifford did critically get free in the 28th minute, Stephen O’Brien popping in a handpass to release him and the Fossa man finished smoothly past Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly for the opening goal. The loss of Aidan O’Shea through a black card moments later represented another setback yet Mayo coped and managed their way successfully to half-time, outscoring Kerry 0-2 to 0-1 in that time frame.

They trailed 1-7 to 0-9 at the break and yet could have gone ahead themselves. Diarmuid O’Connor hoofed in a free from the left wing that broke kindly to Kevin McLoughlin in space and he lashed in a shot that whistled over the bar in front of Hill 16. It capped a satisfactory half for Mayo with the teams level five times before the Clifford goal. O’Shea, Conor Loftus, Jack Carney and Stephen Coen all chipped in with impressive points from play.

Kerry needed scoring inputs from defenders Tom O’Sullivan and Gavin White to get them going in the first quarter, while Paul Geaney rued the sight of his blasted shot fltying wide of the post in the 11th minute with the goal in his sight, a superb raking ball from O’Sullivan setting him up.

kevin-mcloughlin-with-brian-obeaglaioch Mayo's Kevin McLoughlin and Kerry's Brian Ó Beaglaoich. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The second half began with chances for Mayo to reel Kerry in and rewarded some of their excellent examples of aggressive tackling and defending. But Ruane, Flynn and Durcan all saw efforts to land points yield no return. From the 50th minute on Kerry finally started to get motoring with the superb David Moran, O’Sullivan, Geaney (3), Killian Spillane and Sean O’Shea (2) all splitting the posts before the final whistle.

O’Sullivan could have crashed home a goal but instead had to settle for his third point of the day, the opening created by two sublime dummies by O’Shea to prise open the Mayo defence.

It did not impact Kerry’s march to the semi-final stage. This display had its faults but they will hope to have removed the rust built up by their lay-off and will start planning for Dublin.

For Mayo a limp exit from the All-Ireland series as their 2022 race has been run.

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 1-3 (0-2 mark, 0-1f), Paul Geaney 0-4 (0-1 mark), Seán O’Shea 0-3 (0-1f), Tom O’Sullivan 0-3, David Moran 0-2, Graham O’Sullivan 0-1, Gavin White 0-1, Killian Spillane 0-1.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-3 (0-2f), Jordan Flynn 0-2, James Carr 0-1, Kevin McLoughlin 0-1, Rob Hennelly 0-1 (0-1f), Stephen Coen 0-1, Aidan O’Shea 0-1, Conor Loftus 0-1, Matthew Ruane 0-1, Jack Carney 0-1.

Kerry

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 2. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

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

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s), 9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa), 11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks – captain), 12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks)

13. Paudie Clifford (Fossa), 14. David Clifford (Fossa), 15. Paul Geaney (Dingle) 

Subs

18. Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for Moynihan (48)

19. Paul Murphy (Rathmore) for Ó Beaglaoich (57)

20. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for O’Brien (59)

21. Joe O’Connor (Austin Stacks) for Diarmuid O’Connor (65)

17. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes) for David Clifford (67)

23. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) for Foley (inj) (73)

Mayo

1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)

2. Lee Keegan (Westport), 3. Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine), 4. Enda Hession (Garrymore)

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5. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), 6. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore – captain), 7. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport)

8. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), 9. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)

10. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina), 11. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), 12. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina)

24. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), 15. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), 14. Jack Carney (Kilmeena)

Subs

13. James Carr (Ardagh) for Carney (half-time)

21. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Loftus (51)

22. Aiden Orme (Knockmore) for McLoughlin (57)

17. Pádraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites) for O’Shea (63)

23. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole) for Cillian O’Connor (70)

26. Paul Towey (Charlestown) for Orme (inj) (73)

Referee: David Gough (Meath)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Croke Park

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