BANAGHER was the venue for Kerry where they faced Mayo in this the Division 2 semi-final. Kerry have had some good days at this venue but Saturday was not to be one of these days as they faced a strong wind and a stronger Mayo team.
Mayo laid out their stall in the first minute with a ball being sent into Cora Staunton, who shot for goal skipped straight across the goal and out wide. Kerry had the strong wind with them for the first half and in the next few minutes used it with Mairead Finnegan opening the scoring. Sarah Houlihan followed with a pointed free.
Nine minutes in and Niamh Kelly and Cora Staunton levelled matters, but Kerry were winning lots of possession and Sarah Houlihan tapped over a free. Kerry had a few more chances for scores but were unable to convert and it wasn't until the 20th minute that Kerry hit the back of the net through Louise Ni Mhuirtceartaigh. Mayo's response came five minutes later when Niamh Kelly's shot for a point dipped under the crossbar and into the goal. Just before half time Staunton's free caught in the wind, dropped in the square and bounced high and into the goal as Mayo took a one-point lead into the break.
Playing against the wind now Kerry equalised with a point from Mairead Finnegan and it was 15 minutes before Mayo retook the lead through a Staunton free.
Louise Ni Mhuirtceartaigh converted a free but Mayo pushed on with Staunton's goal giving Maria Quirke no chance. Before Kerry could get their bearings, Mayo struck for their fourth goal through sub Sarah Rowe. Mayo added two more points, before Maria Quirke made an excellent save from Staunton to deny her a hat trick.
Mayo had battled down the hatches and smothered any space the Kerry forwards tried to make. They now advance to meet Galway, who overcame Clare, while Kerry now must regroup and prepare for a Munster Final against Cork or Clare.
KERRY: Maria Quirke, Cait Lynch, Aisling Leonard, Casandra Buckley, Emma Sherwood, Aislinn Desmond, Aoife Lyons, Lorrains Scanlon, Bernie Breen, Louise Galvin, Patrice Dennehy, Mairead Finnegan, Sarah Houlihan, Deirdre Corridan, Louise Ni Mhuirtceartaigh. Subs: Sarah Jane Joy for P Dennehy, Mary Herlihy for S Houlihan, Megan O'connell for D Corridan, Laura O'sullivan for M Finnegan.