Allianz Football League Division One
Courtesy of GAA.ie
By Colm Gannon at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park
The 15,726 who made their way to Hastings Insurance MacHale Park were treated to an exhibition of football from Mayo in the first half and in the second they got to see the return to inter-county action of David Clifford and Sean O’Shea for the defending All Ireland champions.
Kevin McStay’s side had built up a 2-8 to 0-3 half-time lead with Ryan O’Donoghue and James Carr both finding the back of the net.
The opening five minutes of the game saw both sides take their time finding their shooting boots, with both hitting a number of wides.Ryan O’Donoghue opened the scoring for Mayo with a free after Aidan O’Shea was fouled inside the D seven minutes in, Carr doubled the lead with a long range mark from just inside the 45m line.
O’Donoghue rattled home the first goal of the evening when he finished from close range after Enda Hession broke the ball away from Tom O’Sullivan, the ball broke to Fionn McDonagh who fed the Belmullet man to find the back of the net.
Donal O’Sullivan got Kerry’s first score from a free ten minutes in, but not long after Jordan Flynn registered the first of three first half points he would hit. Darragh Roche cut the gap back to four points with a fine score from play on the quarter-of-an-hour mark, but it was all Mayo for the rest of the half.
O’Donoghue pointed free, before Carr showed a great step to cut inside his man before firing the ball low under Shane Murphy. That was followed by a run of points from Flynn (2), O’Donoghue and a nice effort from Diarmuid O’Connor for Mayo with Tony Brosnan getting one back for Kerry to leave it 2-8 to 0-3 for Mayo at the break.
Jack O’Connor threw David Clifford and Sean O’Shea in right from the off in the second half as he looked to inject something into his side who had been listless for long periods in the first half.
Colm Reape kicked the first score of the second half driving over a 45 from distance, it didn’t take David Clifford long to make his mark arrowing over the first of three points he would get on his return to inter-county action on 39 minutes.
Mayo eased any nerves of a potential Kerry comeback they might have had thanks to a brace of points on the spin from man-of-the-match Jordan Flynn and James Carr, who chased down a dropping ball to punch over the bar.
Sean O’Shea hit two on the bounce, before Clifford got two more for himself but the game was done as a contest by this stage. Kerry did manage to get a goal of their own before then when Barry O’Sullivan claimed the ball over the head of Paddy Durcan who had just come on for his first game time of the year and fired it home, but it made no difference to the destination of the two league points.
Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue 1-3 (2fs, 1m), James Carr 1-2 (1m), Jordan Flynn 0-4,Colm Reape 0-2 (2 45s), Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1, Donnacha McHugh 0-1, Jack Carney 0-1.
Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-3, Barry O’Sullivan 1-0, Sean O’Shea 0-2 (1f), Dara Moynihan 0-1, Paul Murphy 0-1, Tony Brosnan 0-1, Darragh Roche 0-1, Donal O’Sullivan 0-1.
Mayo: Colm Reape; David McBrien, Rory Brickenden, Enda Hession; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Donnacha McHugh; Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor; Fionn McDonagh, Jack Carney, Jordan Flynn; Aidan O’Shea, James Carr, Ryan O’Donoghue.
Subs: Bob Tuohy for Diarmuid O’Connor, Cillian O’Connor for Fionn McDonagh, Jack Coyne for Rory Brickenden, Conor McStay for Carr, Paddy Durcan for Coen.
Kerry: Shane Murphy; Graham O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; Pa Warren, Tadhg Morley, Paul Murphy; Jack Barry, Barry O’Sullivan; Dara Moynihan, Paudie Clifford, Micheál Burns; Tony Brosnan, Darragh Roche, Donal O’Sullivan.
Subs: Dylan Casey for Pa Warren, Sean O’Shea for Micheál Burns, David Clifford for Donal O’Sullivan Stefan Okunbor for Darragh Roche, Killian Spillane for Paudie Clifford.
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone).