Cillian O’Connor inspires Mayo to memorable victory over Kerry
It was a big win for the Mayo men after an opening day loss to Monaghan
Kerry’s Jonathan Lyne tackles Andy Moran of Mayo during their Allianz Football League Division 1 clash. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Kerry 1-10 Mayo 0-15
Nine points from the deadly boot of Cillian O’Connor helped Mayo produce a stunning win over Kerry at Austin Stacks Park, Tralee, before a crowd of close to 9,000.
Having trailed by four points at the break Mayo came out a different team for the second half after played second fiddle to Kerry in the opening period.
But for once it was the cuteness and greater experience of Mayo which finally wore down the Kerryman, along with the accuracy of O’Connor with Andy Moran also chipping in with three important points in game which produced number of black card and a red.
Tom Parsons of Mayo was dismissed as the game drifted into injury-time but by then they had kicked two clear, Moran’s fisted point sealing an unexpected win for the visitors who bounced back having lost that opening game to Monaghan.
Substitute Barry John Keane, who came on for Paul Geaney, produced the decisive score in the first half when Mayo goalkeeper, David Clarke, punched a high bal away from the danger zone but into the path of Keane who fired home from close range on the 30 minute mark to put Kerry 1-7 to 0-4 clear.
Earlier, Clarke had produced a fine save to deny David Moran from the penalty spot as Kerry put the Mayo defence under a lot of pressure.
That came 12 minutes into the game when Kerry were 0-4 to 0-2 clear, but it was Mayo who gained momentum from Clarke’s save to come within a point thanks to Cillian O’Connor.
Andy Moran was winning good ball for Mayo but Cillian O’Connor was short with two kickable frees and the half-time goal was a fair reflection of Kerry’s dominance in that first half, during which they had at lest two other good goal opportunities but took their points instead.
Those misses came back to haunt Kerry in the second half but it was Mayo’s decision to run at Kerry in the second half which earned them a deserving win.
MAYO: D Clarke, D Newcombe, K Higgins, P Durcan, C Boyle, S Coen, D Drake, D Vaughan, T Parsons (0-1), F Boland, K McLoughlin (0-1), D Doherty, C O’Shea (0-1), A Moran (0-3), C O’Connor (0-9, 9f).
Subs: E O’Donoghue for Drake (22), D O’Connor for Boland (50), S Nally for Vaughan (51), E Regan for Doherty (59), M Plunkett for Regan (BC, 58), D Kirby for C O’Shea (59).
KERRY: B Kelly, R Shanahan, M Griffin, K Young, J Lyne, P Crowley, T Morley D Moran, J Barry (0-2), A Spillane, P Murphy (0-1), D Walsh, J Savage (0-1), P Geaney (0-2, 2f), C Keane.
Subs: B J Keane (1-3) for P Geaney (20, inj ), T O’Sullivan for K Young ((27) M Geaney for Spillane (50), C Geaney (0-1) for C Kane (52), J Foley for Shanahan (57), B’ O’Sullivan for Lyne (BC, 59).
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).