Impressive Kerry bridge six-year gap
ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR FOOTBALL FINAL:KERRY BRIDGED a six-year gap to win the All-Ireland Junior Football title for the 15th time when they easily dismissed a poor Mayo side by 0-19 to 1-7 in the final at Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday.
Winning manager Seán Moynihan was in no doubt that his charges were the better team.
“It’s been a great year for us, we’ve had a great run and to finish it off like this is absolutely fantastic. I’m very proud of the lads, I feel we really deserved to win. We played classy and direct football.”
Kerry were superb in defence and their midfielders and forwards drove forward in waves posing a crisis for the Mayo rearguard early on. Mayo opened their account with a pointed free by Robert McNamara in the 10th minute by which time Kerry registered three scores. But the Connacht champions didn’t raise a flag again until injury-time in the first half and Kerry led 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval.
Mayo goalkeeper Paul Mannion proved vital in keeping his team’s interest’s alive when he saved a penalty from Conor Cox in the 17th minute and minutes later he denied Kerry once more, this time with a good stop from a Paul O’Donoghue effort.
Mayo did rally briefly in the second-half, when 20 minutes in and trailing by seven points, they goaled through substitute Joe Kelly. He was picked out, by a fine Simon Cloherty kick-pass and the Swinford man calmly slotted to the net. But alas for Mayo it was to be their final score as Kerry effectively shut them out and produced five fine scores of their own before the end.
KERRY:S Óg Ó’Ciardubháin, K Quirke, B OMahony, K ODwyer, M Mangan (Capt.), J Sherwood, J Walsh, A Garnett, A O’Sullivan (0-1), N O’Mahony (0-5), N Ó Sé, P ODonoghue, D OCallaghan (0-3, one free), M ODonoghue (0-1), C Cox (0-8, two frees). Subs: E Hickson for Quirke (34), M Brennan for Garnett (50), C Kerins (0-1) for OCallaghan (55), B Poff for P ODonoghue (57), P Carridan for Mangan (58).
MAYO:P Mannion (0-1, 45); M Walsh, L O’Malley, B Leonard; M Forde (0-1), O Feeney, O Quinn; R McNamara (0-1, one free), P Collins; P McManamon, E McManamon (0-3, three frees), S Cloherty; A McTigue, Dempsey, A Egan. Subs: M Moran for McNamara (19), K Gibbons for McTigue (ht), C Horan for P McManamon (39), G McDonagh for Cloherty (58). J Kelly (1-0),
Referee: M Condon (Waterford)