Donal Vaughan and Andy Moran were Mayo’s best, but too many of the front eight didn’t perform.
analysis of Mayo’s performance
Robert Hennelly 6
Made two key early interventions but was caught in possession badly by Donaghy and didn’t cover himself in glory in dealing with the high ball that led to Cooper’s goal.
Richie Feeney 6?
Moved back into the corner for the first time this year and didn’t get roasted by Kieran O’Leary but certainly was bettered. Was missed fighting for the breaking ball at wing-back.
Ger Cafferkey 8
Was reckoned to be a concern for Mayo but took to the Donaghy job splendidly. Helped by McLoughlin’s presence in the first half but the full-back was confident and assured all through.
Tom Cunniffe 6?
Could anyone have marked Colm Cooper in the form he was in on Sunday, and the space he had, in the second half especially? A close eyewitness to genius.
Trevor Mortimer 7?
Brought a keen edge to his game, but wasn’t as assured as against Cork. Gave away one bad point in the first half when he fouled Cooper and struggled somewhat on Galvin.
MAYO’S MAN OF THE MATCH
Donal Vaughan 9
Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan was a big worry beforehand but the centre-back tied him up. Not content with that, he managed to drive forward and kick three points, although one should have been a goal. Superb.
Keith Higgins 7?
Handed the unenviable task of marking arguably the fastest forward in the game – Darran O’Sullivan. Despite some early goal chances, he stuck resolutely to the job in hand and can be fairly happy.
Aidan O’Shea 6
We saw glimpses of his potential in terms of winning ball and power in running at the opposition but his decision-making let him down too many times. The raw materials are there but need polishing.
Seamus O’Shea 6?
Won less ball than his brother but used it better. Broke even off Anthony Maher in the air but didn’t get on enough ball in the loose.
Kevin McLoughlin 7?
While he didn’t intercept a lot of ball as sweeper, his mere presence helped in the first half. Linked play reasonably well in the second half as an orthodox half-forward but was missed further back.
Alan Dillon 6
Got on a decent amount of ball when Mayo took over midway through the first half and used it well. However, he drifted from the game far too much in the second half.
Andy Moran 8?
Kept up his fine form when he was moved inside. Ran Marc Ó Sé ragged but couldn’t shake him off enough for goal chances. For all his excellence, only kicked two points. Possible All-Star.
Enda Varley 7?
Started very well with a point from play (which was very hard-earned) and kicked over a decent free too but, after the first quarter, faded out disappointingly.
Alan Freeman 6?
Will know he is better than he has played this championship. Ball just wasn’t sticking with him and, when it did, his use of it lacked conviction. Confidence is an issue but still has what it takes.
Cillian O’Connor 8?
His goal is a contender for ‘Goal of the Year’ for the way in which he carved Kerry open and should have brought Mayo back into it. Used the ball well in general, although probably wasn’t on it enough.
Ronan McGarrity 5
Saw over 20 minutes of action but couldn’t get to the pitch of the game. Worked hard in terms of tackling but spilled a couple of balls and didn’t win enough possession either.
Aidan Campbell 5?
Replaced Freeman after 53 minutes with Mayo’s half-forward line struggling. Didn’t really change that as, like McGarrity, he went on when the team were on the back foot.
Jason Doherty 5
Didn’t have near the same influence as against Cork. Wasn’t an outlet in the full-forward line in the way he was needed and Andy Moran remained Mayo’s only real target inside.
Lee Keegan 6?
Came on for Richie Feeney and did okay. Got forward to kick a decent point in his second championship game and will hope his recent good form can bring him further next year.
They were more solid than spectacular. Can’t really be faulted for the match-ups as Cafferkey and Vaughan justified the faith placed in them and it’s hard to know if anyone could have coped with Colm Cooper.
Kevin McLoughlin’s role as a sweeper helped to cut off space in the first half, but Mayo needed to be leading at half-time to persevere with that tactic in the second half.
None of the subs had a significant bearing on the game but the line is hard to fault here too. They had Mayo working and tackling very hard and can look at more positives than negatives for the year.