HomeFootballMayo U-16s through to All-Ireland final after convincing win over Kerry

Mayo U-16s through to All-Ireland final after convincing win over Kerry

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U-16 All-Ireland A semi-final

Mayo 2-13 Kerry 0-8

In Rathkeale

THE Mayo U-16s girls have reached their first Al-Ireland final at this grade in 28 years after a truly excellent performance against Kerry.

From beginning to end, a team that had seven scorers and mastered the elements in windy, rainy Rathkeale and were nothing more than deserving victors. 

A Kerry side who beat them in an All-Ireland U-14 semi-final two years previously only scored five times with the wind behind them in a first half where Mayo were superb with and without the ball. 

The Munster champions were hassled and tackled vigorously from the off, with Mayo raising their first big roar of the afternoon when the excellent Lauren McHale knocked home an easy goal into the net from a rebound. 

Kerry, who had no shortage of talent, gradually crept back into the game to make it 1-4 to 0-5 by the 26th minute. 

However, Mayo refused to bend the knee after losing Sophie Tiernan to a yellow card and gained even more ground in the second half with the wind behind them. 

Francis Regan’s girls performed sublimely all over the field, with a ferocious work rate matched by their skill and fitness.

It came as no surprise when Emma Stagg landed a second goal for Mayo mid-way through the half after a clever ball in from a free. 

From there on, subs and starters alike kept Kerry at arm’s length and kept their nerveless supporters smiling on right until the final whistle when families, friends and teammates embraced with excitement ahead of the biggest game in Mayo ladies football so far this year. 

Mayo will meet Cavan in the All-Ireland U-16 A final in a rematch of last year’s U-16 A semi-final. 

A full report plus reaction will be carried in Tuesday’s Mayo News.

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