All-Ireland JFC final: back-to-back titles for Kerry

August 06, 2016

Kerry's Niall O'Shea with Eoin O'Donoghue of Mayo

Kerry 2-18

Mayo 2-11

Kerry, with an entirely new team, retained the All-Ireland junior football title thanks to an impressive victory over Mayo at Croke Park.

A dominant first half display laid the foundations for the Kingdom's 17th All-Ireland success in the grade, which sees them join arch-rivals Cork at the top of the roll of honour. Mayo led by 0-4 to 0-2 after 16 minutes, but conceded an unanswered 2-8 in the second quarter as the holders took a commanding 2-10 to 0-4 lead into the break.

The Connacht champions hit 2-4 without reply early in the second half to leave just three points between the sides, but Kerry weathered the storm to put titles-to-back.

Niall O'Shea grabbed the game's first goal in the 20th minute. That score sparked a Kerry onslaught which saw them tag on five more points before O'Shea fired home his second goal in the 28th minute after Brian O Seanachain had cut open the Mayo defence.

The holders extended their lead to 13 points on the restart before Mayo launched an unlikely comeback. Conor Keane and Darren Coen had points before two goals in as many minutes from Michael Forde and sub Robert Holihan reduced the gap to five.

Further points from Keane and Coen left a goal in it, but Kerry refused to panic and rattled off five points without reply, including three from David Foran, to seal the deal.

Kerry - D O'Shea; F Clifford, J Foley (0-1), C O Luing; P Clifford, A Barry, R Wharton; A Spillane (0-1), J C O'Connor; B O'Seanachain, P O'Donoghue (0-3, 1f, 1'45), D Foran (0-3); N O'Shea (2-0), K Hurley (0-3), S M O'Conchuir (0-5, 2f). Subs: K O'Sullivan for P Clifford, L Bastible for J Foley, M O'Donnell for A Spillane, D Roche (0-1) for K Hurley, A Barry (0-1) for D Foran, D O'Shea for B O'Seanachain.

Mayo - M Flanagan; P Feerick, N Freeman, E O'Donoghue; B Duffy, J Kelly (0-1), J Forkan; M Togher, P Collins; B Reape, M Forde (1-1), K Gibbons; D Coen (0-5, 3f), A Farrell, C Keane (0-4). Subs: S Gaughan for P Collins, R Holihan (1-0) for B Reape, R Mallee for A Farrell, S Akram for E O'Donoghue (BC), R Doherty for P Feerick.

Referee - S Gilmartin.

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