Síofra O’Shea grabs a brace as Kerry overtakes Mayo to earn a spot in the All-Ireland final

Síofra O’Shea scored twice and Kerry showed great style against Mayo at Croke Park to secure her spot in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship final for the first time since 2012.

Ishling O’Connell and Paris McCarthy were also among the goals as the Kingdom backed up their impressive quarter-final win over Armagh with a commanding performance. Long-time favorite Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh was also in superb form for the winner, going 5-0 from open play.

After Shauna Howley put Mayo ahead with a sharp free-kick, Kerry heralded her arrival in the competition when full-back O’Connell floated a deflected shot just outside goalkeeper Aisling Tarpey’s reach in the sixth minute.

Mayo striker Ciara Whyte responded to back-to-back points from Emma Costello and Ní Mhuircheartaigh before Kerry hit the net for a second time in the 11th minute when O’Shea palmed a pass from Cáit Lynch.

Although the confident Munster team extended their lead through Niamh Carmody, Mayo stormed into the race with unanswered points from Tara Needham, Lisa Cafferky and Howley (two). Mayo stayed in goal due to the exchange of goals between Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Sarah Mulvihill, but Kerry reinforced her authority when O’Shea scored her second half-time goal in the 21st minute.

More points followed for the Kingdom through Danielle O’Leary and Lynch, and while midfielder Sinead Cafferky produced a good result for Mayo, it couldn’t stop the opposition from delivering a convincing 3-6, 0-8 cushion at the break .

Three no-response points from Aoife Geraghty, Howley and Needham gave Michael Moyles’ Connacht side initial grounds for optimism, but a 3-0 defeat by Corca Dhuibhne’s sniper Ní Mhuircheartaigh kept the scoreboard ticking for the Kingdom.

Although the determined Geraghty scored her second goal in the third quarter, Mayo suffered another setback when McCarthy scored Kerry’s fourth goal in the 43rd minute.

Although that was her bottom line, the fact that Mayo could muster just a point from Sinead Cafferky in the final quarter ensured Kerry was not denied a spot in the upcoming showpiece.

scorers

Kerry: S O’Shea 2-0, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-5, A O’Connell 1-1, P McCarthy 1-0, E Costello, C Lynch, N Carmody, D O’Leary 0-1 each.

Mayo: S Howley 0-4 (2f), S Cafferky, A Geraghty, T Needham 0-2 each, S Mulvihill, L Cafferky, C Whyte 0-1 each.

TEAMS

Kerry: C Butler; J O’Sullivan, K Cronin, E Lynch; A O’Connell, E Costello, C Murphy; L Scanlon, C Lynch; N Carmody, S O’Shea, A Galvin; P McCarthy, D O’Leary, L Ni Mhuircheartaigh.

Subtitle: A Dillane for O’Sullivan (30), E McGlynn for McCarthy (45), N Ni Chonchuir for O’Leary (52), N Broderick for Murphy (54), C Evans for Carmody (56).

Mayo: a tarpey; É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; T O’Connor, F McHale, K Sullivan; S Cafferky, A Geraghty; S Howley, S Walsh, S Mulvihill; L Cafferky, C Whyte, T Needham.

Subtitle: C Nyland for Mulvihill (30), L Wallace for Sullivan (47), S McCarney for Whyte (52), J Mortimer for McHale (56), S El Massry for Ronayne (56).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

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