O'Shea hits 1-4 as Kerry survive Mayo fightback for test in Castlebar

Peter Keane’s side triumphed 1-14 to 1-13.

Sean O'Shea in action for Kerry against Mayo's Kevin McLoughlin.
Sean O'Shea in action for Kerry against Mayo's Kevin McLoughlin.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Kerry 1-14
Mayo 1-13

Colm Gannon reports from Castlebar

AT HALF-TIME today it looked like Kerry were home and hosed with the two points in the bag leading 1-8 to 0-4 and playing with the aid of a strong breeze in the second half.

But right at the death Mayo could have salvaged a draw if Keith Higgins’ effort had gone the right side of the posts for his side.

Kerry hit the front inside the opening minute rattling home a goal to get things moving on the scoreboard.

A clearance from Keith Higgins from the full backline was intercepted by Michael Burns who recycled the ball on quickly to Tommy Walsh who in turn fed Sean O’Shea and the Kenmare man found the back of the net from close range.

O’Shea followed that up with a pointed free and Gavin White added a point to have Peter Keane’s men 1-2 to 0-0 up inside four minutes. It could have been even worse for the hosts when Higgins fouled Dara Moynihan and referee Martin McNally awarded a penalty.

David Clifford stepped up but his effort came back off the bar and was cleared to safety to the relief of the home support.

Mayo who were playing with the aid of a strong breeze got their first point of the day seven minutes in when Darren Coen pointed a free and over the next seven minutes they missed a number of chances to reel in the lead kicking three attempts wide and dropping another two short into the keepers hands.

lee-keegan-with-jack-barry Mayo's Lee Keegan and Kerry's Jack Barry Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Moynihan kicked Kerry’s third point of the day on the quarter of an hour mark making Mayo pay for another turnover of possession, Tom Parsons did reply quickly for Mayo with a point – but Kerry took control of the game again and reeled off three points in six minutes with Clifford, O’Shea and Tony Brosnan all pointing to put their side into a 1-6 to 0-2 with 23 minutes gone on the stopwatch

Kerry added on two more points before the the end of normal time with Clifford and Micheal Burns pointing to put their side nine clear.

Mayo did manage to pull two points back before the turn around with Kevin McLoughlin slotting two injury time frees to leave it 1-8 to 0-4 at the half time break and it all to do.

Diarmuid O’Connor pulled two points back for Mayo early in the second half slotting over two close range frees inside the opening three minutes to give the home fans some hope of a revival.

James Horan also made three changes at the break bringing in Tommy Conroy, Eoin O’Donoghue and Eoghan McLaughlin.

Mayo went down to 14 for a ten minute period when Oisin Mullin was shown a black card for a trip on David Clifford after the ball had been played nine minutes into the second half.

Ryan O’Donoghue cut the gap back to four points with a fine effort on the turn 46 minutes in as Mayo looked to eat into the Kerry lead and that was quickly followed by an Eoghan McLaughlin effort that just scraped over the bar.

Sean O’Shea put Kerry four to the good again with a well connected effort from out the park on 48 minutes to stem the Mayo comeback, three minutes later Kerry pushed their lead back out to five when David Clifford held off Lee Keegan to win the ball and then fire it over the bar on the run.

Mayo were thrown a life-line when the hit the back of the net 22 minutes into the second half, Eoghan McLaughlin turned over Shane Ryan who had come out from his goal, he fed in Aidan O’Shea who returned the pass and McLaughlin drove the ball home to put just two between the sides.

Kerry did edge three points back in front from the next play when Diarmuid O’Connor pointed from close range. Mayo kept coming though and Eoin O’Donoghue hammered over a point to leave it all to play for with ten minutes of normal time left to go.

Mayo got it back to a one point game when Aidan O’Shea did well to hold onto the ball and score under pressure from close range, but Stephen O’Brien was able to edge Kerry just back in front by two a minute later as the tension began to rise on and off the field.

Eoghan McLaughlin brought it back to a one point game once again with a neat finish on the turn, but Kerry pushed for home with a quick fire two point return from Paul Geaney and a Sean O’Shea free as the game edge towards the four minutes of injury time.

Paul Towey brought it back to a two point contest with a well hit free on 71 minutes and deep into injury time Kevin McLoughlin made it 1-13 to 1-14 in favour of the visitors – but Mayo had one more chance to level it up – but Keith Higgins saw his effort tail just wide of the posts at the death.

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keith-higgins-misses-a-late-chance-to-draw-the-game Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea (1-4, 3f), David Clifford (0-3), Paul Geaney (0-1), Dara Moynihan (0-1), Michael Burns (0-1), Diramuid O’Connor (0-1), Gavin White (0-1), Stephen O’Brien (0-1), Tony Brosnan (0-1).

Scores for Mayo: Eoghan McLaughlin (1-1), Kevin McLoughlin (0-3, 2f), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2, 2f), Darren Coen (0-1, 1f), Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Tom Parsons (0-1), Paul Towey (0-1, 1f), Tommy Conory (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-1), Eoin O’Donoghue (0-1).


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Graham O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromodo)
3. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Shane Enright (Tarbert)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

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

10. Micheal Burns (Dr Crokes)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks)
21. Tommy Walsh (:Kerins O’Rahillys)

13. Dara Moynihan (Spa)
14. David Clifford (Fossa)
25. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)


12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks) for Burns
15. Paul Geaney (Dingle) for Walsh
20. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) for O’Sullivan
22. Killian Spliane (Templenoe) for Moynihan
19. Liam Kearney (An Spa) for Brosnan


1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

25. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
3. Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine)
4. Lee Keegan (Westport)

18. James McCormack (Claremorris)
9. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)
7. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

8. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
22. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)

10. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
11. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

13. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
14. Darren Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)
15. James Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)


26. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport) for Parsons
6. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet) for James Durcan
28. Tommy Conory (The Neale) for Darren Coen
27. Paul Towey (Charlestown) for Flynn

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to figure out where we go from here — not only post-Twickenham, but potentially into September as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the rugby calendar. The lads also discuss the media’s treatment of the Irish team which some fans and players believe is too harsh, but some non-rugby journalists believe to be too soft.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

Colm Gannon

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