Sunday 17 December 2017

Mayo come from six points down to beat Kerry in Tralee

Mayo 0-15 Kerry 1-10

Conor Keane of Kerry in action against Kevin McLoughlin, left, and Donie Newcombe of Mayo
Conor Keane of Kerry in action against Kevin McLoughlin, left, and Donie Newcombe of Mayo
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The weight of the greater experience they could call on told as Mayo got their first win of the Allianz Division One league campaign in Tralee, coming from six points down at one stage to dominate the second half.

Kerry lost James O'Donoghue, who cried off beforehand, Paul Geaney, who limped out after just 14 minutes and Killian Young who followed just before half-time, also through injury, and that was sufficient to eventually derail the home side who ran out of ideas up front.

Andy Moran was Mayo's chief architect, tormenting Mark Griffin to score three points and set up several of Cillian O'Connor's nine converted frees.

The win will restore confidence in Mayo after last week's opening round defeat to Monaghan at home.

Andy Moran of Mayo in action against Mark Griffin of Kerry
Andy Moran of Mayo in action against Mark Griffin of Kerry

Kerry were seeking to follow on from their impressive win in Donegal and they made early headway, ripping through the Mayo defence with ease at times.

Rookie midfielder Jack Barry built on his early season form with some driving runs through the middle and showing no ill effects from his Sigerson Cup exertions with UCD during the week.

Inevitably the goal chances materialised. Conor Keane, O'Donoghue's late replacement, put Adrian Spillane, making his league debut, through but he batted a shot off the crossbar after only five minutes.

Eight minutes later Spillane had another chance but this time David Clarke denied him with a superb save. Referee Padraig Hughes spotted a foul on Spillane however and awarded a penalty to Kerry which David Moran took. But again Clarke saved superbly and Moran couldn't connect with the follow up.

It seemed to check Kerry's impressive early gallop and Cillian O'Connor did nudge Mayo to within a point again with his second free.

But the pace in this Kerry team threatened to overwhelm Mayo and Barry John Keane, Geaney's replacement flicked over when he should have goaled from close range after another storming Barry run left the Mayo cover for dead.

Jason Doherty of Mayo in action against Ronan Shanahan of Kerry
Jason Doherty of Mayo in action against Ronan Shanahan of Kerry

Andy Moran was Mayo's only consistent attacking outlet as Tadhg Morley and Jonathan Lyne kept security tight and they could make little headway.

Another Barry surge on 26 minutes put Kerry 0-7 to 0-4 clear and they doubled that lead four minutes later when Clarke batted out a Moran point attempt that fell short, teeing up Barry John Keane for an opportunist goal.

Kerry led by 1-7 to 0-6 at the break but with Stephen Coen, Colm Boyle and Kevin McLoughlin putting their shoulder to the wheel Mayo drove on and Kerry's propensity to foul under pressure presented opportunities.

O'Connor had 12 attempts within range, scoring nine.

Kerry were under pressure for much of the second half with only Barry John Keane showing a sustained threat while newcomer Ronan Shanahan had to dive bravely to deny Jason Doherty in the 56th minute, a sacrifice that forced him out of the game with injury.

Black cards for Kerry's Jason Foley and Mayo's Evan Regan were exchanged late on while Tom Parsons was red carded at the end as the battle intensified.

But Mayo were calmer and more controlled with their possession with Moran and O'Connor, from a free after Moran was fouled, lifting them clear at the end.

Scorers - Mayo C O'Connor 0-9(9fs), A Moran 0-3, C O'Shea, T Parsons, K McLoughlin  all 0-1 each.

Kerry: BJ Keane 1-3, J Barry, P Geaney (2fs) 0-2 each, J Savage, P Murphy, C Geaney 0-1 each.

Mayo: D Clarke; P Durcan, K Higgins, D Newcombe; S Coen, C Boyle, D Drake; T Parsons, D Vaughan; F Boland, C O'Connor, C O'Shea; K McLoughlin, A Moran, J Doherty. Subs: E O'Donoghue for Drake (33), D O'Connor for Boland (46), S Nally for Vaughan (50), E Regan for Doherty (58), M Plunkett for Regan BC (69), D Kirby for O'Shea (70).

Kerry: B Kelly; R Shanahan, M Griffin, K Young; J Lyne, P Crowley, T Morley; D Moran, J Barry; A Spillane, P Murphy, D Walsh; J Savage, P Geaney, C Keane. Subs: BJ Keane for Geaney inj (14), T O'Sullivan for Young inj (27),  C Geaney for C Keane (49), M Geaney for Spillane (50), J Foley for Shanahan inj (57), Barry O'Sullivan for Lyne BC (60). Foley BC (67).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

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