The Mayo minors competed the first leg of a hoped for double win over Kerry this weekend and in the process booked their spot in the All Ireland Minor Football Championship final.
In that final they will face off against Galway for a third time this season after the Tribesmen defeat Derry in the other semi-final earlier in the day.
The swirling wind in O’Connor Park made conditions difficult for football and both sides left a number of chances behind them, but that will be of little concern for Mayo at the moment as they did what they had to and now stand just an hour away from All Ireland glory.
Goalkeeper David Dolan was the key man for Mayo, making a number of big saves - none more than one he was able to flick onto the post after Kerry danger man Paddy Lane had been played clean through.
Full forward Ronan Clarke also put in a key showing with his goal midway through the first half bringing Mayo right back into the game after a slow start that had seen Kerry start brightest.
Mayo went leading by a two at the break, despite Kerry dominating the ball for large tacts of the opening half, but the Kingdom’s shooting let them down in hitting a number of for poor wides when they were on top in the game
Mayo opened the scoring three minutes in through a Cathal Keavney pointed a free, but Kerry responded with the next three scores on the spin through Darragh O’Connor, Cormac Dillon and Donagh O’Sullivan to open a two point lead.
Mayo netted the first goal of the game through their ace marksman Ronan Clarke, who fielded a ball that looked to be going wide and working his way along the end line and and finished low to the net.
Kerry hit back with three more scores on the spin through Odhran Ferris, Dillon and the impressive Paddy Lane to go back in front by two again - but they were reduced to 14 men for the men Donagh O’Sullivan was shown a black card.
Mayo then took over with Ronan Clarke pointing two frees on the spin and Dara Hurley, Jack Keane and James Maheady all raising the white flag to send Mayo in leading 1-5 to 0-6 at the short whistle.
Clarke pushed the gap out to three points with a free early in the second half and eight minutes in David Dolan had to pull off an excellent save from Paddy Lane after the Kerry man was played clean through on goal. Darragh O’Connor kicked a point not long after to keep Kerry in touch but two points in quick succession from Keaveney and Clarke pushed Mayo four clear on the three quarter mark.
Donagh O’Sullivan cut the gap back to three with ten minutes to go and not long after Dara Hurley forced Shay O’Meara into a great save to keep his side in the game. Paddy Lane cut it back to just two points two minutes into injury time - but Mayo held on to book their place in the final.
Mayo: Ronan Clarke (1-3, 3f ), Cathal Keaveny (0-2, 1f ), Jack Keane (0-1 ), Dara Hurley (0-1 )
Kerry: Cormac Dillon (0-2, 1f ), Donnagh O’Sullivan (0-2 ), Paddy Lane (0-2, 1f ), Odhran Ferris (0-1 ), Darragh O’Connor (0-1 ), Darragh O’Connor (Beaufort ) (0-1 )
Mayo: David Dolan; Rio Mortimer, John MacMonagle, Lorcan Slike; Liam Maloney, Colm McHale, Paul Gilmore; Jack Keane, Luke Feeney; James Maheady, Dara Hurley, Diarmuid Duffy; Cathal Keavney, Ronan Clarke, Neill Hurley. Subs: Oliver Armstrong for Keane, Zac Collins for Maheady, Sean O’Dowd for Gilmore, Oisín Cronin for Dara Hurley, Adam Boukioud for McHale.
Kerry: Shay O’Meara; Maidhcí Lynch, Liam Evans, Darragh O’Connor (Beaufort ); Eddie Healy, Colm Browne, Fionn Murphy; Jack O’Sullivan, Evan Boyle; Niall Collins, Cormac Dillon, Jack Clifford; Paddy Lane, Donagh O’Sullivan, Odhran Ferris. Subs: Darragh O’Connor (Beaufort ) for Collins, Ian O’Sullivan for Boyle, John Burke for Ferris, Ruarí Burke for O’Connor, Tomás Ashe for Clifford