Seniors earn vital points away to Mayo – Match Report

Senior team v Mayo

Tesco HomeGrown National Football League

Mayo 2-13 Kerry 3-15.

Kerry made the long trip to Castlebar worthwhile as they collected the points in an open and entertaining game in McHale Park on Sunday last.

The home side opened the scoring in the 3rd minute as Nicole O’Malley pointed from a direct ball from team mate Rachel Kearns who stopped Kerrys first attack. Sarah Houlihan with a personal tally of 7 points on the day levelled matters in as many minutes, but the home side edged in front again as a foul on Fiona McHale was converted by her midfield partner Aileen Gilroy. At the 10 minute mark Sarah Houlihan again cancelled the advantage and levelled the match for the second time as Marie Quirke was fouled just short of the 20 meter line. Both teams had chances to edge ahead but efforts from each side went wide of the post.

Kerry began to edge forward and dominated the remaining 5 minutes of the first qtr as Mayo’s Doireann Hughes picked up a yellow for a high tackle and the visitors took advantage as they took a 3 point lead with a brace from Sarah Houlihan and 1 from Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh. Mayo did reply with attacking moves and Kerry conceded 3 frees in a row and Cora Staunton punished Kerry and within 7 minutes, the side were level for the 3rd time by the 24th minute, 5 points a piece.

Kerry edged ahead with a point from play as Bernie Breen passed off to Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh and in the next passage of play, with a fine tuned display by their back line of Gina Crowley & Cait Lynch who worked the ball up field, resulted on a foul on Marie Quirke and Quirke took her free and the Mayo keeper was just off of her line and she over reached backwards and helped the ball into her own net, giving the visitors a 4 point advantage. The home side were further punished as a badly taken kick out was collected in the midfield area and it was sent in to Ni Mhuircheartaigh who fisted the high ball over the keeper, which rebound of the crossbar and Bernie Breen made no mistake in raising the green flag for Kerry’s second goal of the opening half and extending their lead to 7 with little time remaining on the clock. A short kick out to Mayo’s Sarah Tierney was passed to Fiona Doherty who then she stole inside the Kerry defence and raised the green flag for the home side and brought the deficit back to 4 as the half time whistle sounded. Kerry 2-6 Mayo 1-5.


Kerry made a change at the interval as Patrice Dennehy was introduced for Linda Cronin and at the restart both Sarah Houlihan and Mayo’s Marie Corbett along with Bernie Breen and Niamh Kelly traded scores followed by a Staunton point bringing the gap down to 3. Kerry 2-8 to Mayo’s 1-8. Kerry converted the next attack and then brought on Cassandra Buckley for Jane Lynch and by the 10th minute Kerry now extend the lead to 5 as Ciara Murphy and Houlihan both score from play as Kerry introduce Eilish Lynch and Emma Sherwood for Eilish O’Connor and Denise Hallissey.

The home side again did push forward and kept probing the Kerry defence and Kerry keeper Edel Murphy did stand firm and cleared her line under pressure, which resulted in a 45 to Mayo which they failed to convert. But 2 more Mayo moves resulted in 2 points from Staunton to close the gap back to 3 again at the end of the 3rd quarter. Kerry then went into defence mode as Mayo made several efforts and were stopped in their tracks as the mid field and half backs worked as a unit and kept Mayo at bay during the next 5 minutes and it wasn’t until the 21st minute for the next scores as both side traded points, Kerry still having the 3 point advantage 2-10 to 1-10.

Again both side traded a brace of points with 7 remaining on the clock and the visitors still hold advantage, Kerry 2-12 Mayo 1-12.

The score of this encounter came in the 24th minute as Kerry dropped a high ball into the Mayo square and applied pressure on Mayo’s keeper Aisling Tippley who turned back into her goal line and ball ends up in the net. Great credit is due to both Amanda Brosnan and Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh for the applied pressure, but no one knows who got the final touch on that ball, so the jury is out on Kerry’s 3rd goal scorer, as the lead now extends to 6. Mayo regrouped and collect the next 2 scores as Staunton pointed from a free and minutes later a 20 free awarded saw Mayo raise the green flag and they go in search for a return for their effort having now reduced the margin to just 2 points, but the Kingdom stand solid in all areas and push the margin back to 5 as they convert the last 3 scores of the game to take the spoils on a scoreline of Kerry 3-15 Mayo 2-13. Kerrys last game in the National football league is down for Sunday April 12th at home in Kerry as they take on Monaghan, with the venue and time yet to be confirmed..



Edel Murphy, Gina Crowley, Aislinn Desmond, Aisling Leonard, Ciara Murphy (0-01),

Cait Lynch, Eilish O’Connor, Bernie Breen (1-01), Maria Quirke (1-0), Sarah Houlihan (0-07), Jane Lynch, Denise Hallissey, Amanda Brosnan, Linda Cronin, Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh (0-04),


Subs: Patrice Dennehy (0-02)for Linda Cronin, Eilish Lynch for Eilish O’Connor, Emma Sherwood for Denise Hallissey, Cassandra Buckley for Jane Lynch, Deirdre Kearney for Gina Crowley, Breda Lane for Amanda Brosnan. Megan O’Connell, Brid O’Connor, Ayesha Roche, Rheanne O’Shea, Leanne Mangan