Kerry remains in a high position to secure a third Allianz League title after ending both Mayo’s unbeaten run this season and their 12-season unbeaten run on Kerry soil last night.
Notably, this was Kerry’s first win over Mayo at home since 2009 when Jack O’Connor was in the first season of his second term as Kingdom boss.
A point from David Clifford in sixth minute of stoppage time substitute Stephen O’Brien earned two points for Jack O’Connor’s side.
So far in this reign, his team has barely misplaced a single foot. They are currently on an eight-match unbeaten streak and have secured a spot in the tournament final with the most unlikely combination of the remaining penalty shootouts.
Mayo still has a chance to be the tournament decider by the first weekend of April although at this stage their focus is probably shifting to the Connacht title match against Galway on April 24. .
Mayo dominated territory early but converted only one of their three early scoring opportunities through Matthew Ruane as they struggled with Kerry’s protective defence.
Kerry responded with a brace – a spectacular first attempt by Clifford after he missed marker Oisín Mullin.
Mayo nearly scored in the 11th minute when Fergal Boland was overturned and Dara Moynihan linked up with David Clifford, but Tony Brosnan chose to punch the ball over the bar rather than test goalkeeper Rob Hennelly.
When given the opportunity, Mayo cornered Kerry and gave Shane Murphy a headache. Ruane flipped one of his re-emergences and linked up with Fergal Boland, who turned it into a one-point (4-3) game after 16 minutes.
David Clifford was engaged for the only goal of the game as he started to move to link Adrian Spillane on the right and his pass was successfully completed by Tony Brosnan.
Mayo should have responded immediately after Aidan O’Shea put Aiden Orme past, but he shot far away – and Mayo’s poor finish cost them in the half as they went up 5 points from 3 the home team’s goal, although Kerry missed three. short photo.
Scores appreciated for the rest of the half and even though Clifford fouled Stephen Coen to kick Kerry’s sixth point. All but two of those scores came directly from Mayo’s first leg.
Mayo’s growing dominance in the middle third becomes more apparent despite Ruane, Jordan Flynn and Aidan O’Shea making major changes. The away team should have scored in stoppage time. Once again, Ruane joined the rally, but ‘keeper Murphy made a brilliant save from Diarmuid O’Connor’s shot that went wide of the post ’45, Rob Hennelly diverted it to give Kerry a 1-6 to 0 lead- 6 at break.
Brosnan and O’Donoghue (free) swapped points early in the second half. Then Kevin McLoughlin, who had only seconds on the field, overturned Kerry’s possession. He teamed up with Aidan O’Shea, who linked up with Fergal Boland for a third.
David Clifford was awarded a visionary corner, but O’Donoghue from the corner helped the game two points after scoring a superb mark.
Paudie Clifford missed a 13-yard penalty where Kerry should have had a four-point advantage in the 56th minute and when O’Donoghue scored a harder goal on the other end shortly after, the game resumed. with 2 points again.
Dara Moynihan was penalized for being too close to Rob Hennelly’s long-range shot and O’Donoghue took the free kick before Ruane leveled with seven minutes remaining.
Clifford free posting has restored Kerry’s advantage; Paddy Durcan had two dangerous shots from long range in the sixth minute of stoppage time. Mullin won a questionable penalty that O’Donoghue nailed to level the score in the 73rd minute.
But Kerry got out and Aidan O’Shea fouled his replacement Stephen O’Brien whom Clifford converted and it proved the winning score. For the first time Kerry prevailed in a tight finish. They will have concerns about the effectiveness of their midfield pairing.
But on a night when the weather turns into a sport spoilt, they will be happy to finally win at home against Mayo.
Mayo coach James Horan did not speak to the media before and after the game. According to a spokesman for the County Board of Directors, he was acting in solidarity with the GPA, who are in dispute with the Croke Park administration over the players’ expenses.
Scorer – Kerry: D Clifford 0-6 (2f); T Brosnan 1-2; J Savage 0-2 (2f); D Moynihan J Barry, 0-1 each. Mayo: R O’Donoghue 0-7 (6f, m); F Boland 0-3; M Ruane 0-2; R Hennelly (’45), A Orme 0-1 per team.
Kerry: S Murphy; D Casey, J Foley, T O’Sullivan; G O’Sullivan, T Morley, B O’Beaglaioch; D O’Connor, J Barry; D Moynihan, J Savage, A Spillane; P Clifford, D Clifford, T Brosnan. Subs: S O’Brien to A Spillane (46), K Spillane to Savage (48), G Crowley to Casey (56), M Burns to P Clifford (66), P Warren to G O’Sullivan (70 + 4 ) .
Mayo: R Hennelly; P O’Hora, L Keegan, M Plunkett; P Durcan, S Coen, O Mullin; J Flynn, M Ruane; D O’Connor, A O’Shea, J Carney; F Boland, A Orme, R O’Donoghue. Subs: E Hession to Coen (ht), K McLoughlin to Carney (43), F Irwin to Orme (56), C Loftus to Boland (67), F McDonagh to O’Connor (70 + 1).
Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/clifford-gets-kingdom-out-of-a-tight-corner-with-late-free-as-mayo-boss-horan-refuses-to-talk-in-solidarity-action-41440118.html Clifford takes Kingdom out of the corner with belated idleness when Mayo boss Horan refuses to speak in solidarity act