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Ronan Clarke goal decisive as Mayo defeat Kerry to set up All-Ireland MFC final with Galway

Mayo 1-8 Kerry 0-9

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Diarmuid Duffy, left, and David Dolan of Mayo celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland Football Minor Championship semi-final win over Kerry at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile

Diarmuid Duffy, left, and David Dolan of Mayo celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland Football Minor Championship semi-final win over Kerry at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile

Diarmuid Duffy, left, and David Dolan of Mayo celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA All-Ireland Football Minor Championship semi-final win over Kerry at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile

Mayo just did enough to defeat Kerry in this keenly contested Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football semi-final played at a windswept O’Connor Park Tullamore on Saturday afternoon but they allowed Kerry in the game right until the final whistle.

They now go on to meet Galway for the third time this year in the final l in two weeks time.

The Kingdom were the better side in the opening quarter but with both sides playing the slow build up, scores were at a premium. Kerry reached the end of the opening quarter 0-3 to 0-1 up thanks to Darragh O’Connor, Cormac Dillon and Donagh O’Sullivan.

However, Mayo got the crucial score of the opening half in the 18th minute when a free by Diarmuid Duffy was fielded by Ronan Clarke left of the Kerry goal, and he wriggled his way through to plant the ball into the Kerry net.

Kerry responded with three unanswered points from Odhran Ferris, Cormac Dillon, and Paddy Lane but while they were dominant in possession, Kerry kicked some bad wides and were guilty of a number of sloppy turnovers.

Disaster struck for the Kingdom when their top performer Donagh O’Sullivan picked a black card in the 24th minute and Mayo took over, adding four in row from Ronan Clarke (free), Jack Keane, Dara Hurley and James Maheady to lead 1-5 to 0-6 at half time.

Another Clarke free increased Mayo’s lead to three on resumption but Kerry with Evan Boyle, Donagh O’Sullivan on his return, and Paddy Lame were causing Mayo trouble. The turning point in this game occurred in the 38th minute when Paddy Lane was through one and one with Mayo keeper David Dolan made a superb save to deny Lane a goal.

Kerry got it back to a two point game late on and also saw a Colm Browne goal bound effort rebound of the crossbar but Mayo created chance after chance, missing four kickable frees late on. Kerry just could not breach a Mayo defence where John McMonagle was a colossus at full back while Lorcan Silke was excellent as well.

Kerry will have left disappointed after falling at the second last hurdle but Maidhcí Lynch, Liam Evans, Colm Browne Jack Clifford, Paddy Lane and Donagh O’Sullivan could not be faulted.

Mayo can now look forward to meeting Galway again in the All-Ireland final with the venue and date to be confirmed.

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Scorers:

Mayo: Ronan Clarke 1-3 (0-3f), Cathal Keaveney 0-2 (0-1f), James Maheady 0-1 Dara Hurley 0-1, Jack Keane 0-1.

Kerry: Donagh O’Sullivan 0-2, Cormac Dillon 0-2 (0-1f), Paddy Lane 0-2 (0-1f), Darragh O’Connor (Kenmare, 0-1), Odhran Ferris 0-1, Darragh O’Connor (Beaufort, 0-1).

TEAMS – 

MAYO – David Dolan; Lorcan Silke, John McMonagle, Rio Mortimer; Liam Maloney, Colm McHale, Paul Gilmore; Jack Keane, Luke Feeney; James Maheady, Dara Hurley, Diarmuid Duffy; Cathal Keaveney, Ronan Clarke, Niall Hurley.

Subs: Oliver Armstrong for Keane (46), Zac Collins for Maheady (46), Seán O’Dowd for Gilmore (54), Oisín Cronin for D Hurley (54), Adam Boukioud for McHale (60+2).

KERRY - Shay O'Meara; Maidhcí Lynch, Colm Browne, Liam Evans; Fionn Murphy, Darragh O'Connor (Kenmare), Jack O'Sullivan; Evan Doyle, Eddie Healy; Odhran Ferris, Donagh O'Sullivan, Niall Collins; Paddy Lane, Jack Clifford, Cormac Dillon.

Subs: Darragh O’Connor (Beaufort) for Collins (37), Ian O’Sullivan for Boyle (47), John Burke for Ferris (54), Rúairí Burke for D O’Connor (Kenmare, 56), Tomás Ashe for Clifford (60).

Referee: Séamus Mulhare (Laois)


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