This defeat was not a shock, in fact shrewd judges of football could see the potential for a Mayo win. After all, Kerry have failed to beat Mayo in the League in Kerry in ten years. Mayo came to Tralee with a near full strength side anxious to avoid a third defeat on the trot and keep their League final ambitions in check.
Kerry on the other hand were missing the injured quartet of Paul Geaney, David Moran, Jack Sherwood and Mikey Geaney. Add that to the fact that James O’Donoghue and David Clifford only returned to the panel after long absences through injury and the missing Crokes contingent and it is easy to see that there are no real major reasons for concern following this defeat.
Unfortunately, Kilgarvan don’t have a championship to look forward to after defeat here in a one-off preliminary game, and it does seem very early in the year, with just one round of the county league over, for a club’s aspirations to be dashed.
In fairness, they can point to some strokes of ill fortune, with both John Mark Foley and Donal Down O’Sullivan absent through injuries. Within three minutes of the first whistle, Gearoid Fennessy was being helped off the field. Patrick O’Shea had already opened their account with a fine point, but a fine pass from Shane O’Connell to Edmund Walsh saw the Kilgarvan net billow. O’Connell and especially Walsh were to prove a constant torment for Kilgarvan.
Crokes struggled to come to terms with the power, speed, skill, stamina and teamwork of their opponents during the one-sided encounter.
The magnitude of the defeat was certainly not in the script. The fact that the losers were down to 14 players after the dismissal of their captain, John Payne, in the 26th minute was definitely a contributory factor in Dr Crokes’ efforts in mounting a serious challenge.
At the end of the day, it would not have changed the eventual outcome but from a spectator’s perspective, it would have made for a more entertaining contest.
Prior to that incident, the writing was already on the wall, as Corofin took a firm grip on the proceedings and enjoyed a four point lead (2-4 to 0-6).