Kerry have missed out on Allianz Football League glory.
The Kingdom went down to Mayo in the Final, losing 3-11 to 2-10.
Kerry opened the scoring inside the first minute, Sean O Shea with a 21 yard free having been fouled by Lee Keegan. A high ball played into Tommy Walsh was misread by Robert Hennelly and was knocked out for a 45, but a strong wind held up Sean O Sheas effort which was well dealt with by the Mayo keeper. A very poor close range free by Aidan O Shea hit the Kerry crossbar and Kerry counter led to Kerry hitting the crossbar themselves, Tommy Walshes effort rebounded off the Davin goal. Mayo scored their first after 6 minutes, a fisted effort by Fergal Boland getting the westerners off the mark. But the game was just getting going, Mayo had a goal chance, two brilliant saves by Shane Ryan denied Mayo an early goal. But Kerry countered again, a point effort rebounded off the upright before David Clifford got the ball into the Mayo net, but the goal was disallowed for a push by the Fossa man.
Mayo were gifted their second point, a wayward pass gave the ball to Paddy Durcan who made no mistake to put Mayo in front after 10 minutes. Kerry’s defence was constantly being put under pressure by the Mayo forwards, Matthew Ruane with their latest point. But Kerry with one of the best goals of the league campaign after 13 minutes. Well worked by David Clifford out on the wing, beat his man and squared the ball to Gavin Crowley who dummied to the right and buried it into the bottom left. Kerry 1-1, Mayo 0-3 after 15 minutes. A well won free for Kerry was slotted over by Sean O’Shea to increase Kerry’s lead to 1-02 to 0-3 after 17 minutes. Jason Doherty won the kick-out for Mayo and he started a great move but again, Shane Ryan in the Kerry goal cleared the danger and the resulting attack brought the ball straight to David Clifford who added another point. 1-03 to 0-03.
Jason Doherty scored a well worked point for the Mayo side, bringing it back to a two point game. But Kerry again weren’t going to get bullied in Croke Park. Dara Moynihan won position on the wing, played a neat pass to Stephen O Brien who was sprinting down the centre and hammered it home for Kerrys second goal- 2-3 to 3 after 27 minutes. Mayo got two quick fire points, one through Jason Doherty and another fisted effort by Fergal Boland kept Mayo in the game. Hawkeye ruled out Kerry’s 4th point, to the disappointment of our commentary team. The final few minutes fizzled out and that was to be the final action of the half; Kerry 2-3 Mayo 0-5.
James O Donoghue was introduced at half time at the expense of Dara Moynihan. Mayo scored the first point of the second half, James Carr the scorer. Mayo scored just their first dead ball of the game inside the opening minutes of the second half, Fergal Boland with the free before Mayos goal chance was saved on the line. The ball rebounded to James Carr who slotted over to make it a one point game, 2-3 to 0-8. Kerry didn’t score their first point of the second half, as Sean O Shea free put two between the sides. Kevin McCarthy went off holding his arm, he was replaces by Mark Griffin. Gavin Crowley scored a great solo free, running about 40 yards in the process; Kerry 2-5 Mayo 0-8. Stephen O Brien was fouled, a free awarded by the ref and was duly converted by Sean O Shea. But the game was about to take another turn. From the resulting goal kick, Matthew Ruane split open the Kerry defence and scored Mayo’s first goal of the afternoon.
Chris Barrett had every chance of seeing red or black for a high tackle on Stephen O Brien, yellow was the result and Sean O Shea slotted the free over the bar. 2-7 to 1-8 with 20 minutes to go. Paul Geaney made a welcome return to the Kerry side, replacing Tommy Walsh for the closing stages. Two quick fire points from the Mayo side through Fergal Boland leveled up the game with just over 10 minutes to go, before Diarmuid O Connor slotted over from 40 yards to put Mayo into the lead; 2-7 to 1-11. But with 8 minutes to go, the two Na Gaeil men teamed up to draw Kerry level, Diarmiud O Connor with the assist, Jack Barry with the score.
But Mayo were to get their second goal of the game, a high ball came into the edge of the square, Shane Ryan missed it and it was punched in by Diarmuid O Connor, Mayo led by 3 with 4 minutes to go at HQ. Paul Geaney pulled it back to a 2 point game with 70 minutes played. As the board went up for 4 minutes added on, Stephen O Brien crossed a ball to David Clifford whose fisted effort was saved off the line by the Mayo keeper. David Clifford made it a one point game. But as Kerry were all out attack, Mayo broke up the field and Ciarán Treacy scored Mayo’s third goal.
Kerry manager Peter Keane part 1
Mayo boss James Horan
Former Kerry captain Billy O’Shea
Mayo captain Diarmuid O’Connor
Mayo forward Andy Moran