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Mayo take both AFL Points at Austin Stack Park 2017-02-11 22:57:00

Mayo take both AFL Points at Austin Stack Park

KERRY 1-10 MAYO 0-15

by Paul Brennan at Austin Stack Park, Tralee Courtesy of GAA.ie

It's eight seasons and counting now since Kerry have won their first two games of a National League campaign after Mayo did a snatch and grab job in Tralee to get their campaign up and running with an important win on the road.

A Mayo response was expected after their loss to Monaghan the previous Saturday, but Kerry were expected to put opening round back to back wins together for the first time since 2009 to build on their win over Donegal last weekend.

Not so. Mayo showed all their mettle and fire to turn a four-point half time deficit into a two-point win, in a game that saw both teams finish with 14 men on the field. Mayo's Tom Parsons was red carded in the 73rd minute as Kerry desperately chased something in the dying moments, with Jason Foley being black carded for the hosts in the 67th minute after they had their six substitutes used.

It made for a tense and tetchy finish to a game played with great tempo even if their shooting on both sides was a little wayward.

Cillian O'Connor scored nine frees for the winners but was guilty of a few poor misses, while David Moran had a first half penalty brilliantly saved by Mayo keeper David Clarke.

Andy Moran, a late call-up for Evan Regan, was in excellent form and scored three from play, as Mayo prepare to host Roscommon in a fortnight with their tails up.

Early points from Jack Barry, Jack Savage and Paul Geaney had Kerry into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead and the home side led 0-4 to 0-2 when Clarke pushed away Moran's penalty after Adrian Spillane was pulled down.

Kerry had more goal chances before Barry John Keane finally converted one, seizing on the loose ball after Clarke had only half cleared a high ball. That helped Kerry to a 1-7 to 0-6 half time lead.

Early points from Conor O'Shea and Cillian O'Connor brought Mayo back into contention and Andy Moran's 52nd point levelled matters, just before Jason Doherty saw his effort on goal scrambled away in the Kerry goalnouth.

Conor Geaney put Kerry ahead, 1-10 to 0-12, in the 57th minute but that would be their last score as Moran and two O'Connor frees saw Mayo earn a badly needed win and leaves Kerry looking for better fortune when Monaghan come to Killarney in two weeks.

Scorers for Kerry: Barry John Keane 1-3, Jack Barry 0-2, Paul Geaney 0-2 (2f), Paul Murphy, Jack Savage, Conor Geaney all 0-1.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O'Connor 0-9 (9f), Andy Moran 0-3, Kevin McLoughlin, Tom Parsons, Conor O'Shea all 0-1

KERRY: Brian Kelly, Ronan Shanahan, Mark Griffin, Killian Young, Jonathan Lyne, Peter Crowley, Tadhg Morley, David Moran, Jack Barry, Adrian Spillane, Paul Murphy, Donnchadh Walsh, Jack Savage, Paul Geaney, Conor Keane.

 Subs: Barry John Keane for P Geaney (inj, 19 mins), Tom O’Sullivan for K Young (inj, 28), Conor Geaney for C Keane (48), Michael Geaney for A Spillane (52), Jason Foley for R Shanahan (inj, 57), Barry O’Sullivan for J Lyne (B/C, 60), Jason Foley (B/C, 67 not replaced)

MAYO: David Clarke, Donie Newcombe, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan, Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, David Drake, Donal Vaughan, Tom Parsons, Fergal Boland, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Andy Moran, Conor O'Shea, Cillian O’Connor. Subs: Eoin O'Donoghue for D Drake (24 mins), Diarmuid O'Connor for F Boland (46), Shane Nally for D Vaughan (51), Evan Regan for J Doherty (59), Michael Plunkett for E Regan (69), Danny Kirby for C O'Shea (70)

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

Kerry and Mayo renew League rivalry in Austin Stack Park

There is sure to be a unique atmosphere in Tralee’s Austin Stack Park on Saturday evening (7pm) when Kerry and Mayo renew rivalry in Round 2 of the Allianz League under lights at the newly refurbished venue. 

Even allowing for the fact that the game is being televised live, a big attendance is expected and the fine performance in Letterkenny on Sunday last is bound to add to the “gate”. These two sides rarely fail to bring the best out of each other and with Mayo playing catch-up following their surprise loss to Monaghan on home soil last weekend, Saturday’s game is likely to be in the same vein.

Kerry will be without the injured Shane Enright (observing return to play protocol after concussion) and hamstring victim Stephen O’Brien while the game comes a couple of weeks too early for Bryan Sheehan and Anthony Maher both of whom are only returning to on-field training. The Dr Crokes contingent of Colm Cooper, Johnny Buckley and Fionn Fitzgerald are club-tied as is Glenbeigh-Glencar’s Darran O’Sullivan. Meanwhile, the Under 21 players on the senior panel such as Tom O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Barry O’Sullivan and Conor Geaney will return to the Under 21 squad after this weekend’s game and it is unlikely that they will see any further action in the current League.

Since these sides met at the same venue back in 2012 when the game ended in a draw, Kerry have managed just one victory out of five League meetings, that being last year in Castlebar and no doubt the Kingdom will want to put down a marker on this occasion given the possibility of a championship clash between them later in the year. Those long Summer days are a long way away of course and Kerry’s first priority is to get the two points on offer on Saturday evening, We wish them well in their endeavours.

The Kerry team will be announced on Friday evening and posted on the Kerry GAA Website at 8:30pm.

The Programme for the game, which will be on sale inside the ground only, will cost €3 and the proceeds will go towards spectator improvements in Austin Stack Park. Referee is Padraig Hughes of Armagh.