Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday July 17 - Junior B Football: Kerry v Mayo

Kerry 3-7 Mayo 3-8

Kerry and Mayo, two of the high flying junior B teams met on the main field on a hot Sunday afternoon. Having looked dead and buried at the end of the first half, Mayo came back to win at the very end. It was all Kerry in the first half and Mayo had a 13-point mountain to climb at the break. Climb it they did as Mayo stormed back in the second half, and Gervais Toner won the game for Mayo with a point from a free that proved to be the last kick of the game.

Philip Sullivan on the run for Kerry.
Kerry had the advantage for the first 30 minutes and held a ten point advantage at the end of one. The Kerry forward line was too fast and fit for the Mayo defenders. Chris Cullinan, Fran Keenan, and James Dooley caused numerous problems for the Mayo back line. Playing at center forward, Keenan bagged two goals in the first period, while points came from Curran, Chris Cullinan, and Paudi Murphy. Kerry’s half back line also found room to move forward, creating many situations where the extra man was helping out on the attack. Mayo created some chances, and managed a score from Conor Walsh. Too often however, the final pass was wayward or the man in possession was swarmed with defenders. On occasion the Mayo forwards felt they had cause to question why a fee was not awarded, frustration may also have had something to do with it.

Mayo did much better in the second half and Dan O’Connor was called upon to pull off some improbable saves. Mayo were much more to the fore and Gervais Toner found himself through on a couple of occasions. O’Connor managed to stick a boot out to save the first chance and the ball came back out off the inside of the post. Toner had to settle for a point on the second occasion after O’Connor saved the first effort. Conor Walsh and Joe Morinn pointed for Mayo to narrow the gap. Morinn came up from corner back to take a penalty and ended up putting the ball over the bar. Two goals came for Mayo as the westerners kept up the intensity level and Kerry tired. One came from a quick free taken by Andy Coyne after the same player was fouled inside the 21. The second was as a result of a penalty taken by Toner after Kevin Walsh was bundled over in the area. Three more points came from Liam Holt, a Toner free, and Brian McStay and the distance between the sides narrowed to three points with five minutes to go. Kerry had a couple of chances to put away an insurance score but failed to do so and paid for it in the final minute of the half. Mayo surged forward for one last attack and Toner found a wide open Conor Walsh who only had to put the ball into the empty net. As the Mayo back line continued to work hard to keep Kerry from scoring, a chance to win the game presented itself after Mayo won a free 30 yards from goal. Toner stepped up and slotted the dead ball over the bar to the delight of Mayo fans.

Mayo: F. Ryan, M. Carling, J. Morinn, S. McDonagh, D. Quinn, K. Harrington, G. Toner, L. Holt, A. Coyne, K. Walsh, B. McStay, K. Walsh, C. Walsh. Kerry: D. O’Connor, J. Green, M. Markhan, A. Curran, P. Murphy, C. McGillicuddy, M. Taylor, A. Collier, J. Dooley, F. Keenan, P. Sullivan, C. Cullinan, J. Cuddy.

By Rory O'Donnell

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