Evan Treacy/INPHO Kerry's Diarmuid O'Connor and Mayo's Jack Carney.
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Mayo impress as Kerry lose first senior championship game at home since 1995
Eoghan McLaughlin drilled home the only goal of the game in the 60th minute.

Mayo 1-19

Kerry 0-17

ON THE AFTERNOON that a new football championship format was wheeled into view, an established pattern was ended as Kerry tasted defeat on home soil in this setting for the first time in 28 years.

Their unbeaten championship record at Kingdom venues stretched back to the 1995 Munster final, but they were taken down by a superb showing by Mayo here. 

Trailing by five at the interval, that was the margin in arrears that Kerry faced by the final whistle. Eoghan McLaughlin drilled home the only goal of the game in the 60th minute, shortly after being sprung from the bench, availing of a slick pass by Ryan O’Donoghue and finishing low to the corner. 

It was the only time Shane Ryan was beaten on an afternoon the Kerry All-Star netminder was in an utterly defiant mood with a string of brilliant saves.

Another stunning showing by David Clifford that yielded 0-8, could not prevent Kerry from succumbing to an opening group stage loss. Clifford clipped over five from play and came desperately close to adding a goal to that tally in a frenzied rush in the third quarter. One shot cannoned off the legs of Colm Reape, another was tipped away in a packed goalmouth and the last one flashed just wide.

As the second half wore on, it was increasingly clear that Kerry required a goal to salvage something from this game. The genius of Clifford kept them in it, while Paul Geaney was impressive alongside him in posting 0-3, but otherwise it was an ineffectual afternoon for the Kerry forward line.

eoghan-mclaughlin-celebrates-scoring-a-goal Evan Treacy / INPHO Eoghan McLaughlin celebrates netting for Mayo. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

If Mayo had concerns about their performance carrying a layer of rust following a six-week layoff since the Connacht reversal against Roscommon, the first half swiftly dispelled that. They posted the opening two points of the game, and while Kerry drew level at 0-3 apiece by the 12th minute, Jack O’Connor’s team were trailing for the remainder of the half.

At the break it stood 0-12 to 0-7, an accurate reflection of Mayo’s authority, but a position that was only fashioned by a turbo-charged boost before the interval as they reeled off four points in succession.

Indeed it could have been different by that stage, more favourable for Mayo or more ominous for Kerry, depending on your vantage point. Twice inside the first five minutes the Kerry defence was carved open, they were indebted to Ryan’s shot-stopping prowess to deny Diarmuid O’Connor and James Carr. It was the Ardagh forward Carr who again unleashed a fiercely-struck drive before the break, Ryan beating it outside the post. With Colm Reape missing two efforts from ’45s, there was a brewing sense early on that Mayo were not capitalising on their dominance.

sean-oshea-and-sam-callinan-and-aidan-oshea Evan Treacy / INPHO Mayo's Sam Callinan and Aidan O'Shea with Kerry's Sean O'Shea. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Kerry hung in there grimly and would have been satisfied to be 0-8 to 0-7 adrift on the half hour mark. But Mayo tellingly pushed on prior to the midway mark.

Their full-forward line shone in the scoring stakes – Ryan O’Donoghue (0-4), James Carr (0-3) and Aidan O’Shea (0-3) – in the first half. For large chunks of that period, O’Shea was a terrific focal point as he wreaked havoc on the Kerry rearguard, his corner-forward colleagues prospering as a result. The trio of Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor and Jack Carney continuously punched holes with their hard running.

donnacha-mchugh-with-paul-geaney Evan Treacy / INPHO Mayo's Donnacha McHugh with Kerry's Paul Geaney. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Kerry tried to rally the home support in the 23,128 crowd in the second half. They moved within three points of Mayo at a couple of junctures but their passing was sloppy, their defence was pulled into uncomfortable positions and their midfield never got a sustained period of dominance. Mayo wheeled artillery off the bench, Paddy Durcan and McLaughlin both impacting. The Westport man’s goal rubber-stamped this victory and they kept Kerry at arm’s length from thereon.

Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue 0-5 (0-2f), Aidan O’Shea 0-3 (0-2f, 0-1 mark), James Carr 0-3, Eoghan McLaughlin 1-0, Matthew Ruane 0-2, Paddy Durcan 0-1, Jack Carney 0-1, Jordan Flynn 0-1, Pádraig O’Hora 0-1, Jason Doherty 0-1, Donnacha McHugh 0-1.

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-8 (0-3f), Paul Geaney 0-3, Seán O’Shea 0-3  (0-2f, 0-1 ’45), Tom O’Sullivan 0-2, Dara Moynihan 0-1. 


1. Colm Reape (Knockmore)

24. Pádraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), 3. David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen), 21. Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels)

4. Sam Callinan (Ballina Stephenites), 6. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), 2. Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis),

8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), 9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), 11. Jack Carney (Kilmeena), 18. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole),

14. James Carr (Ardagh), 13. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), 15. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)


  • 5. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for Doherty (47)
  • 19. Enda Hession (Garrymore) for Callinan (47)
  • 17. Tommy Conroy (The Neale) for Carr  (53)
  • 22. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport) for O’Hora (56)
  • 7. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for Coyne (59)


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Dylan Casey (Austin Stacks), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle) 

5. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), 6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe), 7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil), 9. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa), 11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks), 12. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)

13. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes), 14. David Clifford (Fossa – captain), 15. Paul Geaney (Dingle)


  • 21. Paul Murphy (Rathmore) for Morley (blood) (24)
  • Morley for Murphy (27)
  • 21. Murphy for Casey (half-time)
  • 18. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe) for Brosnan (half-time)
  • 20. Ruairi Murphy (Listry) for Moynihan (46)
  • 24. Stephen O’Brien  (Kenmare) for Barry (63)

Referee: Seán Hurson (Tyrone)

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