By Patrick Sharkey at Croke Park.
Kerry finished this semi-final with a flourish to secure an All-Ireland final against Donegal or Meath.
The game started with Danielle O Leary’s shot at goal easily being saved by the Mayo goalkeeper.
Shauna Howley then go the first score for Mayo in the fourth minute from a free kick but then Aishling O’Connell responded with a goal and a point before Emma Costello got a point. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh got her first Kerry point. Sinéad Walsh then respomded for Mayo. Síofra O’Shea then however kept Kerry on their toes with a goal. Niamh Carmody then got a Kerry point before Mayo got two thanks to Lisa Cafferky and Shauna Howley. Shauna Howly then came out on top and got her first point from open play. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then got the point again for Kerry. Niamh Carmody then got a wide for Kerry in the 23rd minute. Síofra O’Shea then got herself another goal.
The halftime score was Kerry 3-6 Mayo 0-9. It was clear to see that Kerry was going for the goals.
Mayo got the first score of the second half within the first three minutes when Aoife Geraghty scored the point. Tara Needham however did not have the same luck afterward when she hit it wide.
It could not be rectified when another wide followed. Tara Needham then got her first score with a point two minutes later.
Cáit Lynch however then got herself a point for Kerry on the stroke of halftime. Fion McHale responded for Mayo though a point keeping them within touching distance of Kerry.
Danielle O’Leary got a piece of the action getting her first point in the 27th minute for Kerry putting them seven points ahead. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then responded with a point for Kerry they weren’t going to be too far ahead. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then got a point, but Aoife Geraghty had an answer for Mayo with a point. Tara Needham then failed to convert a free kick opportunity for Mayo. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh took full advantage when she managed to get her fourth point with 10 minutes left. Kayleigh Cronin then got a point for Kerry to put them seven points up. Paris McCarthy then got a goal to put Kerry 10 points up with 18 minutes to go. Tamara O’Connor then missed out on a chance for Mayo to salvage something with a wide with 10 minutes to go. Tara Needman then came to the rescue for Mayo when she narrowed the deficit down to nine points until Hawkeye ruled it out. Sinéad Cafferky was then the Mayo player who ended up delivering it and bringing it down to nine points. With seven minutes left Kerry showed weakness when Loraine Scanlon had her shot go wide. The substitute Erica McGlynn didn’t have any luck either getting a wide with five minutes left. Louise Ní Muircheartaigh then got punished for overcarrying the ball. The crossbar was no friend of Tara Needham as she tried to get a point for Mayo with two minutes to go.
Kerry: C Butler; J O’Sullivan, K Cronin, E Lynch; A O’Connell (1-01), E Costello (0-01), C Murphy; L Scanlon, C Lynch (0-01); N Carmody (0-01), S O’Shea (2-00), A Galvin; P McCarthy (1-00), D O’Leary (0-01), L Ní Mhuircheartaigh (0-05).
Subs: A Dillane for O’Sullivan (30), E McGlynn for McCarthy (45), N Ni Chonchuir for O’Leary (52), N Broderick for Murphy (54), C Evans for Carmody (56).
Mayo: A Tarpey; É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; T O’Connor, F McHale, K Sullivan; S Cafferky (0-02), A Geraghty (0-02); S Howley (0-04, 2f), S Walsh, S Mulvihill (0-01); L Cafferky (0-01), C Whyte (0-01), T Needham (0-02).
Subs: C Nyland for Mulvihill (30), L Wallace for Sullivan (47), S McCarney for Whyte (52), J Mortimer for McHale (56), S El Massry for Ronayne (56).
Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).
Player of the match: Kerry would have to thank Julie O’Sullivan and Louise Ní Mhuireachtaigh for showing leadership on either side of the pitch and the same could be said for the Mayo pair of Danielle Caldwell and Lisa Cafferky but the player of the match has to be Kayleigh Cronin. Cronin didn’t score anything but she pulled her socks up as she was given the tough task of marking the inside forwards for Mayo. Kayleigh clearly listened to her instructions to read the breaking ball. The Dr.Crokes club woman won every single individual battle that came her way. The Strength and Conditioning (S&C) coach dominated every single ball that entered the airspace of the Kerry half. Cronin sent alarm bells ringing for the Mayo corner forwards. Kayleigh changed the game. The Dr.Crokes club woman often found herself in a ring of scavenging half-backs and half-forwards who failed to take the ball off her. The S&C coach built her game around possession. The Kingdom has nothing to worry about with Cronin at the back. The number three means nothing to Kayleigh as she did the job that had to be done, no matter where it was on the pitch. The Dr.Crokes woman began the game on the right terms she got a few simple touches to get herself into the game. The 25-year-old is very different from the rest of the team in her unique role. The S&C coach adapted to the team shape when the Munster side had to take their game up a gear. Cronin turned the game into a game of chess when both teams tried to suss out each move. Kayleigh could also kick the ball off the ground the furthest. The kick-outs were a key factor of the game.