Tuesday 24 October 2017

Classy Kerry retain title

Kerry 2-18 Mayo 2-11

The Kerry team celebrate their victory over Mayo in Saturday’s All-Ireland JFC final at Croke Park. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
The Kerry team celebrate their victory over Mayo in Saturday’s All-Ireland JFC final at Croke Park. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Independent.ie sportsdesk

They did it in style and they did it the Kerry way, with slick, flowing football encapsulating all the traditional skills of the game.

The Kingdom retained the All-Ireland JFC title, claiming a 17th in all, with a performance that wasn't without its flaws, but one which never wavered from the county's dearly-held principles.

Kerry's Niall O'Shea resists a tackle from Eoin O'Donoghue. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Kerry's Niall O'Shea resists a tackle from Eoin O'Donoghue. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

"We played some lovely football, really exciting football, the way we feel in Kerry is the way it should be played," said winning captain Paul O'Donoghue.

Two first-half Niall O'Shea goals illustrated the mentality of Stephen Wallace's side as they tore into Mayo at Croke Park.

But that was only after a shaky, uncertain start to a game they warmed to slowly.

Furthermore, after blitzing their opponents to go 13 points clear, they offered the Connacht men a route back into the game, which they gratefully accepted to trim back the deficit to four.

Darren Coen of Mayo in action against Cathal Ó Lúing of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Championship Final match between Kerry and Mayo at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Darren Coen of Mayo in action against Cathal Ó Lúing of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Championship Final match between Kerry and Mayo at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

O'Shea netted in the 21st and 28th minutes to give Kerry a 2-10 to 0-4 interval lead, but goals from Michael Forde and Robert Holian rewarded Mayo's route-one approach.

Kerry steadied the ship, with David Foran, O'Donoghue, Kieran Hurley and Sean Micheal O Conchuir nailing the points that saw them safely home.

SCORERS - Kerry: N O'Shea 2-0, SM O Conchuir 0-5 (2f), K Hurley, D Foran, P O'Donoghue (1f, 1 '45) 0-3 each, A Spillane, A Barry, J Foley, D Roche 0-1 each. Mayo: M Forde 1-1, R Holian 1-0, D Coen 0-5 (4f), C Keane 0-4, J Kelly 0-1.
Kerry - Darragh O'Shea 5; F Clifford 7, J Foley 6, C O Luing 6; P Clifford 7, A Barry 7, R Wharton 6; A Spillane 8, JC O'Connor 7; B O Seahachain 5, P O'Donoghue 7 D Foran 7; N O'Shea 7, K Hurley 6, SM O Conchuir 7. Subs: K O'Sullivan 5 for Clifford (38), D Roche 7 for Hurley (46), L Bastible 5 for Foley (48), Dara O'Shea 4 (53), M O'Donnell 4 for Spillane (56), A Barry 4 for Foran (61).
Mayo - M Flanagan 8; P Feerick 6, N Freeman 7, E O'Donoghue 6; B Duffy 5, J Kelly 7, J Forkan 6; M Togher 5, P Collins 5; B Reape 5, M Forde 7, K Gibbons 6; D Coen 7, A Farrell 5, C Keane 7. Subs: S Gaughan 6 for Collins (14), R Malee 4 for Forde (h-t), R Holian 6 for Reape (h-t), S Akram 6 for O' Donoghue (34 BC), R Doherty 4 for Feerick (47), B Leonard 3 for Forde (60)
REF - S McLaughlin (Donegal).

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