Mayo's Jason Doherty is tackled by Marc O'Se of Kerry. INPHO/Cathal Noonan
bright start

Division 1 FL: Mayo defeat 14-man Kerry

Jason Doherty and Michael Conroy shot a combined total of 0-9 as the Westerners triumphed in Castlebar this afternoon.

Mayo 0-15
Kerry 1-6

Mayo got their Division 1 campaign off to a great start with a six-point victory over Kerry in McHale Park this afternoon.

In a highly competition division, points are bound to be precious in this league and James Horan’s side picked up two valuable ones in this game.

In a match that saw the teams level at 1-6 to 0-9 at the interval, Mayo managed to keep their opponents scoreless in the second-half and also kicked four points in the last ten minutes.

Kerry’s hopes of success were damaged by the sending-off of midfielder Anthony Maher for a second bookable offence during the second-half.

Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice fielded an experimental team and was forced to make three pre-match changes. Peter Crowley came into the defence for his first cousin Jack Sherwood who was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

While in attack Barry John Keane and Paul Geaney made way with Legion’s James O’Donoghue and Listowel Emmett’s Conor Cox getting starting places.

And on a damp afternoon in Castlebar, Kerry took time to get going as Mayo stormed into an early 0-4 to 0-1 advantage. Burrishoole’s Jason Doherty helped his side cope in the absence of some big attacking names as he chalked up four early points.

But Kerry soon warmed to the task with debutant Michael O’Donoghue making an impression at wing-forward and they struck the only goal of the game in the 18th minute.

Darran O’Sullivan palmed the ball down to James O’Donoghue and the Legion man dummied before finding a gap in the Mayo defence, racing forward and unleashing a brilliant shot with his weaker right foot into the bottom corner.

The rest of the half was very entertaining with bright and open football on both sides as Maher and Cox kicked good points for Kerry and Michael Conroy impressed for Mayo. A point by Kevin McLoughlin for Mayo ensured the sides were level at the interval.

In the second-half, the quality of attacking football deteriorated notably. Mayo chalked up an early point from McLoughlin but between the 38th and 60th minutes, there was only one point registered courtesy of a 45th minute free by Doherty.

Kerry struggled to impact up front with a Mayo defence lead by man-of-the-match Ger Cafferkey in outstanding form and remarkably the Kingdom did not trouble the scoreboard operators in the second-half.

And Mayo found their feet in the finale with Conroy and McLoughlin raising white flags while substitute Enda Varley notched a brace to seal their success.

Scorers for Mayo: Jason Doherty 0-6 (0-5f), Michael Conroy, Kevin McLoughlin (0-2f) 0-3 each, Enda Varley 0-2, Richie Feeney 0-1.
Scorers for Kerry: James O’Donoghue 1-0, Michael O’Donoghue 0-2, Johnny Buckley (0-1 ’45), Darran O’Sullivan, Conor Cox, Anthony Maher 0-1 each.

MAYO: David Clarke; Shane McHale, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Tom Cunniffe, Donal Vaughan, Chris Barrett; Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea; Lee Keegan, Richie Feeney, Cathal Freeman; Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Michael Conroy.
Subs: Alan Freeman for Freeman, Barry Moran for Seamus O’Shea, Enda Varley for Feeney.
KERRY: Brendan Kealy; Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Shane Enright; Jonathan Lyne, Peter Crowley, Killian Young; Anthony Maher, Johnny Buckley; Michael Geaney, Darran O’Sullivan, Michael O’Donoghue; James O’Donoghue, Patrick Curtin, Conor Cox.
Subs: Barry John Keane for Cox, Bryan Sheehan for Geaney, Andrew Garnett for Curtin, Shane O’Carroll for Michael O’Donoghue.

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)

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