As things stand, Buckley will miss the All-Ireland Club Final clash with Corofin on St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park. O’Sullivan spoke to Kerry’s Eye earlier this week: “We are awaiting the referee’s report and we will have to review that first. We do intend to lodge an appeal against Johnny’s sending off. All I can say on the matter is that Johnny is a player that we have huge respect for and it would be awful to see him miss out on playing in the final. I do not want to comment on the specifics of the incident but everyone who knows Johnny would agree that he is not a dirty player.”
The eventual scoreline is hardly a true reflection of Mullinalaghta’s intense challenge against the hot favourites. The Killarney outfit endured many anxious moments, before they thwarted the brave efforts of the surprise packets of this year’s championship.
As it unfolded, this encounter proved a real test of character, skill and stamina for the 2017 All-Ireland champions, who make a return to Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day against reigning champions Corofin.
The favourites found themselves in the eye of a storm, after conceding a second goal in the 18th minute and shortly afterwards, one of their key players, Johnny Buckley, received a straight red card.
Kerry rested Conway and in truth it was just as well; as they completely outclassed a Mayo side that were clearly way below par. Kerry were also without Michael O’Leary. Fionán MacKessy and Daithí Griffin; so this afforded Kerry boss Fintan O’Connor the opportunity to start Daniel O’Carroll, Michael Slattery and former captain Daniel Collins.
Collins played well at midfield and this outing will bring him on a ton while Daniel O’Carroll was always in the thick of the action scoring 1-2 and being well looked after by his cousin Podge Boyle with pinpoint passes. But it was young Michael Slattery who really caught the eye at right corner forward, scoring four excellent points from play, despite some heavy treatment from an overworked Mayo fullback line.