Allianz FL D1: Mayo reach decider
Allianz Football League Division One
Mayo 2-20 Kildare 0-18
By Colm Gannon at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada
Mayo booked their spot in the league final against Kerry after an eight point win over Kildare in a sun splashed Carrick-on-Shannon on a day that had real Championship feel and the Lenister men ended up dropping back down to Division Two.
The game was played in a free flowing manner with both sides looking to attack at every opportunity, moving the ball at pace from the boot and get it down the field as quickly as they could.
Having lost their last two games Mayo will be happy to have picked up the win in this one, and now have another game to tune up before they meeting with Galway in the Championship next month.
Goals in either half from Ryan O’Donoghue and Jordan Flynn kept Mayo’s noses in front all the time during an entertaining contest.
Both sides swapped a brace of points each in the opening exchanges and were level at two points each after 10 minutes, with Mayo also losing Brendan Harrison to injury early on and he was followed by Diarmuid O’Connor who also had to limp out before the half time whistle which will be a concern for Mayo going forward,
Ryan O’Donoghue who was Mayo’s talisman throughout winning almost every ball put in his direction during the afternoon got their first goal 12 minutes in, finishing off a move involving Aidan O’Shea and Oisin Mullin in the build up.
Kildare kept themselves in touch with Ben McCormack, Darragh Kirwin and Paul Cribbin all getting a number of points.
Mayo were three points up with with not long left in the first half, but points from Jimmy Hyland and McCormack in injury time saw just one between the sides at the half-time whistle.
The second half saw both sides swap scores with points from Paddy Woodgate and Hyland leaving the score at 1-14 to 0-16 in Mayo’s favour as the 50th minute approached.
Mayo then plundered their second goal of the day through Jordan Flynn who first home from close range to put Mayo into a four point lead that they never looked back from.Kildare introduced Daniel Flynn for the final 20 minutes or so to try and get back into the game, but the Mayo defence were able to martial him well and see it out.
Mayo went on to add six more points with Jason Doherty and Jack Carney both adding two points each and Flynn and Michael Plunkett putting the finishing touches to the win that sends them into the league final against Kerry.
Scores for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue (1-3, 1m), Jason Doherty (0-5), Jordan Flynn (1-2), Jack Carney (0-3), James Car (0-2, 1m), Padraig O’Hora (0-2), Michael Plunkett (0-2), Matthew Ruan (0-1)
Scorers for Kildare: Ben McCormack (0-4), Jimmy Hyland (0-4, 3f, 1m), Darragh Kirwin (0-3), Paddy Woodgate (0-2), Paul Cribbin (0-2), Kevin Flynn (0-1), Mark Donnellan (0-1, 1f), Brian McLoughlin (0-1).
MAYO: Rory Byrne; Lee Keegan, David McBrien, Brendan Harrison; Oisin Mullin, Aidan O’Shea, Rory Brickenden; Jordan Flynn, Matthew Ruane; Michael Plunkett, Jack Carney, James Carr; Diarmuid O’Connor, Jason Doherty, Ryan O’Donoghue.
Subs: Padraig O’Hora for Harrison, Kevin McLoughlin for Diarmuid O’Connor, Aiden Orme for Carr, Stephen Coen for Jason Doherty.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Mick O’Grady, Shea Ryan, Ryan Houlihan; Tony Archbold, James Murray, Darragh Ryan Kevin Feely, Kevin Flynn; Kevin O’Callaghan, Ben McCormack, Paul Cribbin; Paddy Woodgate, Darragh Kirwin, Jimmy Hyland.
Subs: Darragh Malone for Houlihan, Daniel Flynn for O’Callaghan, Alex Beirne for Woodgate,Brian McLoughlin for McCormack, Paddy McDermott for Ryan.
Referee: David Gough (Meath).