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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 9 May 2021

Ruane's goal proves decisive as Mayo edge past Kerry in Tralee

Conditions were miserable but James Horan’s side ground out an important away win.

Conditions were miserable in Tralee this evening.
Conditions were miserable in Tralee this evening.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kerry 0-11

Mayo 1-10

Colm Gannon reports from Austin Stack Park 

MAYO PICKED UP their fourth win of the league and brought to an end Kerry’s 100% record in Austin Stack Park thanks to a final-quarter flourish that earned the visitors a two-point win.

Matthew Ruane’s goal three minutes from the end of normal time was the decisive score. The Breaffy man was played through on goal by Kevin McLoughlin and he made no mistake, slipping the ball under Brian Kelly to put Mayo into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead.

The visitors trailed by three at the break and they made hard work of getting back into the game despite having the elements in their favour for the second half on a terrible night for football. 

Jason Doherty kicked the first score of the final 35 minutes from a free a minute in, but Mayo went on to cough up a number of good scoring opportunities before they registered their second score of the half 15 minutes later through Fionn McDonagh.

By that stage, Kerry had tagged on their eighth point through sub Diarmuid O’Connor to keep their noses three clear. But over the next five minutes, Mayo edged back in front thanks to a brace of Jason Doherty frees and a fisted effort from Fionn McDonagh.

That score had them 0-9 to 0-8 up with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Sean O’Shea drove over a huge point from a 45 into the teeth of a gale on 62 minutes to level it up once more, but Doherty held his nerve to slot Mayo’s 10th point of the day five minutes from the end of normal time and two minutes later Ruane hit the net to warm the hearts of the large travelling Mayo faithful.

Kerry weren’t done though and O’Shea kicked his sixth point of the day from a free, before James O’Donoghue hooked one over from a tight spot to cut the gap back to two — but Mayo were able to hold on for the win and move themselves into contention of making a league final.

Kerry went in leading by three points at the break, having opted to play with the aid of a gale blowing towards the Horan’s End of the ground.

Mark Griffin and Gavin Crowley contest a high ball against Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea Kerry's Mark Griffin and Gavin Crowley contest a high ball against Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea of Mayo. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

After a jittery first 20 minutes from the Kerry attack, they began to find their groove and went from levelling the game up at four points each on 22 minutes through a Sean O’Shea point after Tommy Walsh had fielded a fine mark before setting up the Kenmare man to kick three more points before the switch around.

Mayo started the game brightly with Kevin McLoughlin putting them into the lead three minutes in when referee Niall Cullen overruled his umpires to award the first score of the night.

That was followed by a fine score from Matthew Ruane after a galloping run down the right flank five minutes in and two minutes later Mayo were three to the good when Jason Doherty split the posts from different.

Sean O’Shea who kicked four first-half points got his side’s first score of the game eight minutes in with an effort that he could have rattled the back of the net with.

He closed the gap to a single point with a free after Tommy Walsh was fouled by Brendan Harrison close in on goal.

McLoughlin pushed the gap out to two points on the 18-minute mark with a nice score after some good build-up involving Donal Vaughan and Aidan O’Shea.

Aidan OÕShea celebrates at the final whistle Aidan O'Shea celebrates at full-time. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The hosts though started to get to grips with the game and conditions and took control of proceedings with Kevin McCarthy making it 0-4 to 0-3 on 20 minutes and O’Shea levelling it up two minutes later.

Tommy Walsh put Kerry into the lead for the first time tapping over a mark he won 30 metres out just before the 30-minute mark and points from O’Shea and McCarthy before the short whistle had Kerry going in leading 0-7 to 0-4, but facing into the wind for the second half. It would prove the difference.

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Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea (0-6, 3f, 1 45), Kevin McCarthy (0-2), Tommy Walsh (0-1, Mark), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1), James O’Donoghue (0-1).

Scorers for Mayo: Jason Doherty (0-5, 4f), Matthew Ruane (1-1), Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Fergal Boland (0-1), Fionn McDonagh (0-1)


1. Brian Kelly (Kilarney Leigon)

2. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
3. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
4. Brian O’Beaglaioch (An Ghaeltacht)

5. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe)
6. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
7. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

8. Jack Barry (Na Gael)
9. Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa Killarney)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Gavin O’Brien (Kerins O’Rahillys)

13. Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin)
14. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys)
15. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)

Subs: 18. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gael) for McCarthy, 20. Tomas O’Se (An Ghaeltacht) for Moynihan, 24. James O’Donoghue (Kilarney Leigon) for Walsh, 22. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe) for Griffin, 23. Conor Greaney (Dingle) for O’Brien.


1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
3. Brendan Harrision (Aghamore)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)

5. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)
6. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
7. Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels) 

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

10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
11. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber) 

13. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
14. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
15. James Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

Subs: 3. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Loftus, 24. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for Durcan, 9. Lee Keegan (Westport) for Vaughan, 18. Colm Boyle (Davitts) for Plunkett, 16. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy) for Clarke. 

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

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Colm Gannon

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