D1: Kerry too strong for Mayo in Castlebar
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION I: MAYO 0-14 KERRY 2-13
By Daragh Small at Elverys MacHale Park
Johnny Buckley hit a goal in the first-half as Kerry claimed their first win in six league outings against Mayo and boosted their semi-final hopes in Division I.
After their poor start to the season, Kerry have now won three on the trot in the Allianz League. They trailed 0-7 to 1-3 at the break at MacHale Park, and when Donnchadh Walsh hit the Mayo net after half-time it was the beginning of the end.
Kieran Donaghy and Diarmaid O’Connor both saw red, and Peter Crowley was also sent from the field with a black card, but it didn’t affect the result. Mayo are now in deep trouble of relegation near the bottom of the standings with two games remaining.
Both sides came into the game on a high after wins in the previous rounds, but it was Kerry who started better. Points from Peter Crowley and Darran O’Sullivan got the Kingdom on their way.
Kevin McLoughlin scored Mayo’s first and they hit four without reply in their period in the ascendency. Robbie Hennelly scored a free, and Diarmaid O’Connor slotted an ambitious effort on the angle. Shane Nally’s fine score gave Mayo a 0-4 to 0-2 lead, and Bryan Sheehan’s free was Kerry’s first score in 14 minutes.
But Mayo were still the dominant side going forward and Aidan O’Shea almost bagged a goal. But points from Hennelly and McLoughlin made it 0-7 to 0-3 before Kerry kept themselves in the game with a goal in the 36th minute.
Cooper off-loaded to O’Sullivan and he cut through the Mayo defence, before he gave the ball to Buckley, and the Kerry wing-forward slotted to the net. With the wind at their backs in the second-half Kerry asserted their dominance and went 2-7 to 0-9 in the lead.
O’Sullivan, Buckley, Sheehan and Cooper kicked the points before Walsh slotted the vital second goal when Mayo failed to deal with a scuffed Cooper free from out wide.
Mayo couldn’t find their groove after that, and although McLoughlin and Doherty hit points, Cooper and Crowley kept Kerry too far ahead each time. Donaghy tangled with Andy Moran in the 54th minute, and even as Crowley got his black card with nine minutes left Kerry strolled to victory.
Scorers for Mayo: K McLoughlin 0-3 (1f), R Hennelly 0-2 (1f, 0-1 ’45), A O’Shea 0-2, S Nally 0-1, D O’Connor 0-1, T Parsons 0-1, J Doherty 0-1, A Moran 0-2 (2f).
Scorers for Kerry: J Buckley 1-1, D Walsh 1-0, D O’Sullivan 0-3, B Sheehan 0-2 (2f), P Crowley 0-2, C Cooper 0-2 (2f), B O’Sullivan 0-2, M O’Se 0-1.
MAYO: R Hennelly; B Harrison, G Cafferkey, L Keegan; S Nally, C Boyle, D Vaughan; T Parsons, S O’Shea; D O’Connor, J Doherty, C Carolan; K McLoughlin, A O’Shea, C O’Shea. Subs: S Coen for Nally (46 mins), A Moran (0-02, 0-02f) for Carolan (51), M Sweeney for C O’Shea (59), C Barrett for Cafferkey (65), J Gibbons for Doherty (67).
KERRY: B Kealy, M Ó Sé, M Griffin, S Enright; A O’Mahony, P Crowley, F Fitzgerald; K Donaghy, B Sheehan; D Walsh, P Murphy, J Buckley; D O’Sullivan, C Cooper, S O’Brien.* Subs: *B Kelly for Kealy (30 mins), BJ Keane for O’Brien (53), B O’Sullivan (0-02) for Buckley (56), P O’Connor for Crowley (63, black), J Lyne for Walsh (66), D Daly for D O’Sullivan (73).
*Referee: *Rory Hickey (Clare).