Mayo are into the All-Ireland SFC final for the second consecutive year, where they will meet last year’s champions, Dublin, or Tyrone.
The men from the West were much the superior team today in Croke Park as they overcame Munster champions Kerry convincingly in a replay on a scoreline of 2-16 to 0-17 having played out a tense draw last weekend.
The first half saw a blistering start to the game by Mayo who appeared to be fired up to qualify for the All-Ireland final yet again. The Connacht side put Kerry under severe pressure from the outset, pushing up on the kickout of Kingdom ‘keeper, Brian Kelly.
As a result, we saw something which nobody can quite recall witnessing in Croke Park before. Bewildered for options out the field and clearly wishing to stick to the strategy of going short, instead of attempting to boot long out to the middle of the park, Kelly tried to force a short kickout. What ensued was the net-minder kicking the ball backwards, behind his own goal line and out for a ’45.
The Kerry keeper actually gave Mayo a 45 from his own kick out wtf is happening
— Tiernan (@tiernanmcg98) August 26, 2017
Can't believe Kerry keeper kicked the ball wide from his own kick out 😂 never saw that before in my life
— David Gammell (@davidgammell2) August 26, 2017
Yet again, just like last week in the drawn game, the pillar of Mayo GAA that is Andy Moran was on fire. Shane Enright was tasked with marking the 33-year-old and was booked early on before being replaced early in the second half after failing to keep up with the lively corner-forward.
Moran in this magic form adds so much to Stephen Rochford’s cause and will torment any defence in the country. His performance left spectators mentioning his name in potential Footballer of The Year conversation.
Andy Moran plays the most beautiful football known to man
— Cathal Barron (@ThePeanutLad) August 26, 2017
Love watching Andy Moran. Unreal off the ball and ruthless with ball in hand. On this form 1 of the best in the country #mayovkerry
— Ciaran Nolan (@ciaran_nolan) August 26, 2017
— shane meehan (@s_meehan15) August 26, 2017
— Brían Ó Luanaigh (@Looneytours) August 26, 2017
Andy Moran having some game again 😳#Legend
— Cian Healy (@cian_healy) August 26, 2017
Andy Moran footballer of the year?? #kerryvmayo
— Marc Kenny (@marckenny1996) August 26, 2017
Mayo’s physicality appeared to provide them with the telling edge over Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s charges. In a fiery contest, Rochford’s side finished the game with 14 men where as their opponents had 13 on the field at the full-time whistle.
At the end of the day, there was sheer delight for Mayo folk, who will be hoping ‘the curse’ will be over and done with come the third Sunday in September of 2017.
Mayo dominant all through. A five-point drubbing for Kerry. #mayovkerry
— Noel Fallon (@fallon_noel) August 26, 2017
Massive respect to Mayo. Never ever doubt their character or resilience. Never doubt their skill either. #KerryvMayo
— Paul O'Brien (@WestCorkPaul) August 26, 2017