Sheehan spot on as Kerry make progress


All-Ireland MFC Quarter-finals/Kerry 2-10 Mayo 1-8: A converted penalty, three minutes from time, unblocked the stalemate and gave Kerry the impetus to carve out a five-point victory over Mayo in the second quarter-final of the All-Ireland minor football championship at Cusack Park, Ennis, on Saturday.

Brian Sheehan made no mistake from the spot-kick to establish victory on a day that saw the young St Mary's club man contribute 2-5 to Kerry's tally.

Sheehan had the Kingdom's first score, a point from a free in the opening minute, and he followed it with a well taken goal moments later to put his side in the driving seat.

Later, Mickey Bowler sent in a cross from the left to the edge of the square which was caught by Mike Murphy. He fed it to Sheehan and the full forward slotted it past Mayo goalkeeper Richard Byrne from close range.

This goal did not overwhelm the Connacht runners-up and in a keenly fought first half Mayo levelled matters on the stroke of half time with a goal when Mark Ronaldson got on to a Kevin Costello delivery to leave the score 1-5 apiece at the interval.

Another Sheehan free nosed Kerry in front after the break, but Mayo came from behind on two occasions to take the lead before the second half was eight minutes old. Aidan Kilcoyne had a pair of points from play in succession before Dan Doona's long range effort had the sides all square once more.

A Ronaldson point put Mayo ahead once more, but this was to be their last score of the game.

Entering the fourth quarter, Doona equalised for the Kerry boys in a low scoring period of the tie. As the game appeared to be heading for extra time, Kerry centre forward Barry O'Grady made an incisive run through the Mayo defence.

With only the goalkeeper to beat he was dragged to the ground by Byrne and the referee immediately awarded a penalty. Sheehan slotted it to the left corner of the net with ease to put daylight between the teams.

He added a point from a 35-metre free shortly afterwards and O'Grady kicked the final score as the game headed into injury time.

KERRY: B Kealy; M Curran, L Quinn, P Reidy; C Kelliher, S O'Sullivan, J McGillacuddy; D Breen (0-1), S O'Shea; M Murphy, B O'Grady (0-2), M Bowler; D Doona (0-2), B Sheehan (2-5, five frees; one penalty), D Geaney. Subs: B Moran for O'Shea, J Coffey for Curran, D O'Sullivan for Bowler, J Buckley for Geaney, S Murphy for M Murphy.

MAYO: R Byrne; D Padden, T Howley, J Conlon; K Costello, D Sloyne, S Ryder; S O'Donnell, H McLoughlin; E Tiernan, A Kilcoyne (0-5, three frees), M Conroy; S Prendergast, J G Stenson (0-1), M Ronaldson (1-2). Subs: D Coleman for Tiernan, C Boyle for Prendergast, H Gaughan for McLoughlin.

Referee: E Murtagh (Longford).