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Match Stats
26/09/2004
SFC Final
  KER1-202-9MAY (FT)

12/09/2004
SHC final
  KLK0-90-17COR (FT)

Kerry clinch a simple 33rd All-Ireland win

Darragh ó Cinnéide lifts the Sam Maguire
Sunday, September 26 2004

Kerry won their 33rd All-Ireland final in a facile game on a scoreline of 1-20 to 2-09, which was flattering to a Mayo side that failed to spark on the big day in Croke Park.

John Maughan's men couldn't capitalise on an early Alan Dillon goal as Kerry, playing a mixture of traditional long-ball and foot-passing football and the more modern style of football played to such lethal effect by Tyrone and Armagh, were far too strong for the Connacht champions.

Jack O'Connor's men were not expected to have such an easy win as they were missing the hugely influential Darragh Ó Sé and Seamus Moynihan through injury. Moynihan, who was on the bench, did come on towards the end of the game, when the match result was no longer in question.

Declan O'Sullivan showed how Kerry intended to play early on as he made an incisive run deep into the Mayo backlines before being fouled. Dara Ó Cinnéide pointed the free before another Kerry raid deep into opposition territory saw Marc Ó Sé make it two.

But Ciaran McDonald attempted to rouse his team by taking a ball on the side of the pitch, shrugging off Eamon Fitzmaurice to strike a beautiful point over the bar.

And rouse them it did as Dillon slipped in behind the Kerry backs to pick up the pass from the sideline before confidently tapping the goal past Diarmuid Murphy, much to the delight of the Mayo fans.

It seemed as if John Maughan's pre-match belief that if Mayo could score goals they could beat Kerry had been accurate as the Kingdom looked shell-shocked. But Kerry were only briefly shaken as William Kirby got them back on the scoring track with a fine taken point four minutes later.

And they continued to peg back the Connacht men with Ó Cinnéide taking another free from a point as Mayo's backs looked shaky and unconvincing.

Ó Cinnéide's levelling point was soon cancelled out by Brian Moloney, who took Dillon's short free to point Mayo back in the lead. It was to be the last time they would lead in the first half in the game as Kerry simply went straight down the other end of the pitch where Ó Cinnéide received a handpass and, at an almost impossible angle, squeezed his shot between the posts to level it again.

Then followed the ruthless exploitation of the gaps in the Mayo backlines. Gary Ruane received a yellow for fouling Johnny Crowley. Ó Cinnéide pointed the free. The Kerryman, who was taking the majority of the Kingdom's scores, popped up again to fist a ball over the bar, leaving the score at 0-07 to 1-02. It was to get worse.

For the first fifteen minutes the game had been a spectacle of skill, flair and excitement. However, Kerry were about to close out the half with a streak of scoring while Mayo were finding it difficult to stop them from

Colm 'Gooch' Cooper took his first point on 17 minutes as he found himself on the end of a short free which had been worked up the pitch.

Mayo, whose ability to limit teams scoring chances had been their main talent in previous games, seemed singularly unable to stop Kerry taking a tally of eight points in the first fifteen minutes.

McDonald's last point had inspired his side to a goal the last time. His next point was even better, a free from just past half-way that sailed straight over the bar.

As O'Sullivan and Cooper pointed for Kerry, John Maughan was making frantic changes from the sideline in an attempt to stop Kerry from getting too far out of sight. When moving his charges around on the pitch produced no significant result, he began to make substitutions, with David Brady coming on for Fergal Kelly and, later in the first-half, Conor Moran and Michael Conroy coming on for Dermot Geraghty and James Gill.

These all seemed in vain when Gooch leapt in the air to catch and set off on a run through the Mayo defence, jinking this way and that, sending backs the wrong with way a deft bounce, before slipping the ball under Mayo 'keeper Peter Burke.

Ó Cinnéide added to the goal with yet another pointed free to leave Maughan's men trailing by 1-11 to 1-03 as Kerry exerted their dominance on every part of the field.

A Dillon pointed free was cancelled out by yet another Ó Cinnéide free as he took his seventh point, his fifth from a free.

Peter Burke tried his best to keep his side in the game when Johnny Crowley received a pass, helped on by Gooch, only to see his shot saved by the Mayo netminder. However, Mayo's ineptitude all over the pitch was reflected by the Connacht men's ensuing foray back up the pitch, which was capped not by a morale-boosting point, but a horrible wide. It would prove to be the last real action in the first half.

The game re-opened with both teams showing a little too much fire. A number of bouts of handbags broke out before referee Pat McEneany could calm everything down with resorting to brandishing cards.

When the sides had calmed down sufficiently, Gooch resumed normal services with a pointed free, taking over the duties from Ó Cinnéide.

The game had, however, lost any semblance of competitiveness as Kerry were simply putting on an exhibition for fans who had seen the Kingdom fail to capitalise on great promise for the last three years.

Mayo's chances were few and far between. A chance at goal, which would still have left them nine points off the pace, was spurned as Andy Moran bore down on goal only to pass off to Conor Mortimer who shot over the bar.

The point, useless by itself, was cancelled out by William Kirby who took his second score of the game with a fine point.

Gooch was giving an outstanding display, spinning away from his man on 44 minutes to stick a great point over the bar.

However, the great skills shown by Kerry were not enough to make this dreadfully one-sided encounter enjoyable for anyone but Kerry fans. Mayo were still unable to mount any sort of opposition and this soon impacted upon Kerry who, with nothing to spur them on, began to take their foot off the pedal, missing four scoreable chances in a row.

Ó Cinnéide took his eighth score with a nicely taken free, putting Kerry in a 1-16 to 1-05 lead.

By this stage McDonald's pointed free was of little consequence, as Kerry needed only the minimum effort to keep the ten-point margin between the sides.

A point for Dillon was followed by a point by Andy Moran, neither score bringing much of a response from the Mayo faithful. A much bigger cheer was brought from the Kerry fans when Seamus Moynihan replaced Liam Hassett in the forwards and was almost instantly involved in a movement that saw Paul Galvin's score keep the ten-point margin, leaving the scores standing at 1-18 to 1-08.

Kirby's third point, thanks to a Cooper pass, was followed by a missed chance at goal for substitute Michael Conroy, whose shot went over the bar for a point. However, the young Mayo footballer wouldn't have to wait long to score his first goal in an All-Ireland final when Diarmuid Murphy pulled off a brilliant save from Trevor Mortimer, only to see Conroy waiting there to drill the ensuing rebound into the net.

Mike Frank Russell, who had come on for Crowley ten minutes earlier, took a great point in stoppage time to close out a game that had since the second half been a foregone conclusion.

Filed by Barry J Whyte



VIDEO
6.1 News: Sports News
6.1 News: With Gareth O'Connor
6.1 News: Kerry wins 33rd All-Ireland title
6.1 News: Tony O'Donoghue, Sports Editor, reports as Kerry easily outclass Mayo
6.1 News: Eamon Horan gets the reaction of the players and management from both sides
6.1 News: Paschal Sheehy, Southern Editor, reports on the reaction to the win in the Kingdom
6.1 News: Ruth McAvinia reports on the All-Ireland minor football final which was won by Tyrone
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