Killian Spillane takes on Seamus Cunniffe. Donall Farmer/INPHO
Kingdom Advance

Kerry beat Mayo to reach their first minor final since 2006

Jack O’Connor’s minor team were too good for Mayo in today’s first game at Croke Park.

Kerry 1-14

Mayo 2-7

KILLIAN SPILLANE WAS the hero as Kerry bridged an eight year gap to reach their first minor final since 2006.

Spillane, a nephew of Kerry legend Pat, was named as the man of the match in a four point win, which could have possibly been more had Kerry been a little more clinical in front of goal.

Trailing by a point at half-time, Kerry dominated possession in the middle of the field after the interval, with the Dingle pairing of Barry O’Sullivan and Mark O’Connor bossing that sector for the Kingdom.

Mayo rushed into a two point lead early on thanks to points from Cian Hanley and Fionán Duffy, and despite going in at half-time a point up they were massively weakened for the start of the second half.

Cian Hanley, team captain and younger brother of AFL star Pierce, was forced off in the first half after sustaining an injury. He proved a huge loss to Mayo who struggled without him to feed their dangerous full-forward line with quality ball.

Tomas O'Se tackled Kerry attacker Tomás O Sé. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Kerry came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, turning over Mayo on numerous occasions with the elusive Micheál Burns causing problems on the counter attack.

Approaching the final quarter, the game rose into life as Kerry’s corner forward Tomás O Sé rose highest to flick in a goal edging them five points ahead — 1-7 to 0-5.

Yet within the minute, TJ Byrne bagged a goal down the opposite end with a fantastic finish into the bottom right corner.

Kerry were dominating possession through their excellent midfield pairing and their impressive substitute Liam Kearney, although they spurned a number of opportunities that allowed Mayo to stay well in the game. One of which was a missed penalty by Jordan Kiely, after Eoin O’Donoghue was questionably adjudged to have fouled O Sé.

Mayo stayed within two points of Jack O’Connor’s team until the final ten minutes, when O Sé responded to a point from the excellent Gary Boylan to create a three point lead.

Jordan Kelly with Conor Kilkenny Kerry's Jordan Kelly trying to evade the challenge of Mayo's Conor Kilkenny. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

From here, Kerry kicked on, with a 50 metre free from goalkeeper Shane Ryan providing one of four scores which established a seven point advantage.

The Connacht champions never gave up and managed a late fisted consolation goal by TJ Byrne, his second goal of the game, in the 60th minute. Inevitably it proved too little too late though as from here Kerry closed out the game and maintained their four point lead.

Next up for them is Dublin or Donegal, as Jack O’Connor’s young team go in search of a first minor title in 20 years.

Scorers for Kerry: Killian Spillane 0-6 (0-3f), Tomás O Sé 1-1, Liam Carey 0-3, Mark O’Connor, Shane Ryan (0-1f), Matthew Flaherty, Micheal Burns 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mayo: TJ Byrne 2-0, Gary Boylan 0-4 (0-3f), Cian Hanley (0-1f), Fionán Duffy, Brian Reape 0-1 each.


1. Matthew Flanagan – Balla

2. Conor Kilkenny – Aghamore
3. Seamus Cunniffe – Ballaghaderreen
4. Eoin O Donoghue – Belmullet

5. Jason Forkan – Kiltimagh
6. Barry Duffy – Balla
7. Sean Conlon – Castlebar Mitchels

8. Gary Walsh – Breaffy
9. Matthew Ruane – Breaffy

10. Gary Boylan – Belmullet
11. Cian Hanley – Ballaghaderreen (Capt.)
12. Sharoize Akram – Ballaghaderreen

13. Fionan Duffy – Crossmolina
14. T.J. Byrne – Kiltimagh
15. Brian Reape – Bohola Moy Davitts


23. Liam Byrne (Bohola Moy Davitts) for Hanley (inj) (23)
17. Stephen Brennan (Claremorris) for Kilkenny (black card) (41)
19. David Clarke (Ballintubber) for Forkan (47)
20. Keith Hopkins (Crossmolina) for Ruane (50)
24. Jack Reilly (Crossmolina) for Duffy (58)
18. Dylan Cannon (Breaffy) for Conlon (60)


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Dan O’Donoghue (C) (Spa)
3. Briain Ó Beaglaíoch (An Ghaeltacht)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Brian Sugrue (Renard)
6. Andrew Barry (Na Gaeil)
7. Cormac Coffey (Kerins O’Rahillys)

8. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)
9. Mark O’Connor (Dingle)

10. Matthew Flaherty (Dingle)
11. Brian Rayle (Lispole)
12. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes)

13. Jordan Kiely (Dr Crokes)
14. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)
15. Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)


18. Liam Carey (Beaufort) for Rayle (half-time)
17. Liam Kearney (Spa) for Flaherty (45)
20. Robert Wharton (Renard) for Sugrue (53)
19. Stephen O’Sullivan (Templenoe) for Kiely (56)
23. Sean Ryan (Austin Stacks) for Burns (60)
21. Ivan Parker (Churchill) for Spillane (60)


LIVE: Kerry v Mayo, All-Ireland senior football semi-final

As It Happened: Kerry v Mayo, All-Ireland minor football semi-final

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