Tuesday 21 November 2017

The game at a glance

Colm Cooper (Kerry)

Gooch in Croke Park in autumn -- it's his natural environment and he prospered yet again, producing by far his best performance of the season. It returned 1-7, 1-3 from open play, and also opened up productive avenues for his colleagues.

Turning point

Mayo gave themselves a slim chance of launching a rescue package when Cillian O'Connor scored a goal in the 53rd minute, but Kerry responded a minute later when Cooper's trickery out-witted the Mayo defence and yielded a goal. It left Kerry comfortable on the home run.

Talking point

The number of goal openings Mayo created. They only took one, but a more productive forward line would have landed at least three. That will occupy Kerry's strategists as they plan for the All-Ireland final.

Ref watch

David Coldrick booked only three players -- all from Mayo -- in a game where he awarded 49 frees. Several other names could have made his notebook too, with Mayo the greater culprits. Also, what does Paul Galvin have to do to win a free?

What they said

Jack O'Connor (Kerry manager):

"That was the most physical game by far (this season), even more physical than Cork. That might have had more pace in it, but this was very physical."

James Horan (Mayo manager):

"What it boiled down to was that we made too many mistakes. We carried the ball into tackles too often and took shots under too much pressure and kicked away some soft kick-passes which Kerry were retaining very well."

Match statistics

Wides: Kerry 8 (6); Mayo 5 (2)

Frees: Kerry 30 (17); Mayo 19 (9)

Yellow cards: Kerry 0; Mayo 3 (T Mortimer 35+1, R Feeney 38, A O'Shea 71)

Attendance: 50,643

What next?

Kerry play Donegal or Dublin in the All-Ireland final on September 18; Mayo reflect on a year in which they put down a base that gives them something positive to work off next year.

Irish Independent

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