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GAA: Kerry And Mayo Play Out Entertaining Draw

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final

Mayo 1-16 Kerry 1-16

Kerry and 14-man Mayo finished level on 1-16 each in an epic All-Ireland Football Championship semi-final at Croke Park.

The two teams must no battle again at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick next week as Croke Park will be unavailable due to the Croke Park Classic, an American Football bout between University Of Central Florida and Penn State.

Mayo have been the more consistent performer in recent times as Kerry are a team rebuilding from the greats of the last decade, but still a formidable force in the Championship. Kerry will certainly be more relieved as they took their chances in the last few minutes of the game to send it to a replay and could have possibly snatched it from Mayo’s grasp.

The first half was slow paced and lacked any real intensity as it was point for point for the most part as Kerry edged in front with some good play from Paul Geaney and Michael Geaney and some strong midfield play from David Moran. Kerry’s ball handling skills let them down on occasions as Mayo will be very disappointed with some chances they missed, including a great chance by Cillian O’Connor who failed to find the net. Mayo were reduced to 14 men when Lee Keegan deliberately kicked Johnny Buckley approaching half time. Kerry were somewhat better in the first half as neither side showed any real intensity. Kerry led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half time.

Mayo showed more intent in the second half and turned the game in their favour.  They did so with Cillian O’Connor being their main threat up front and with the introduction of Andy Moran brought new life into the Connacht champions. Kerry found it hard to get through for scores as they tried to weather the storm. Mayo continued to eat into the Kerry lead and they were presented with the opportunity to pull away when Donal Vaughan was tackled from behind by Peter Crowley, resulting in a penalty for the Connacht Champions which was blasted into the top corner by O’Connor. Mayo pulled away with further scores but with time running out against Kerry, Mayo dominance began to slip away in the dying moments as Kerry got back into the game when a high ball in from Moran which was caught by Kieran Donaghy who set-up James O’Donoghue for an influential goal for the Kerrymen. Another crucial score from Kieran O’Leary levelled the game and further late opportunities from them just fell short as Mayo felt under pressure in the closing stages of the games as it ended in a draw. Kerry 1-16 Mayo 1-16.

 

All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Semi-Final

Kerry 1-14 Mayo 2-7

Mayo came into this game as reigning All-Ireland minor champions with a solid defence and some good positive performances of late. Kerry has been very impressive so far in this year’s championship and stormed out of Munster with some good displays.

Mayo dominated the opening minutes of this game and took the early lead with two good scores from Gary Walsh and Fionan Duffy. The game went into a dull period after this as both sides were beginning to test each other out. Kerry soon got off the mark when Killian Spillane brought them back into the game. Mayo remained in front with further scores from Gary Boylan in what was a relatively poor first half with both sides only managing seven points between them, Mayo leading at half time by 0-4 to 0-3.

The second half was a more entertaining affair as Kerry were quicker out of the blocks with wubstitute Liam Carey and Spillane helping to bring the Kingdom in front.  Kerry were in control and they seemed to be on their way to the final when Tomas O Sé punched the ball into the net for the opening goal of the game. It didn’t last long however as TJ Byrne blasted his shot to the Kerry net as Mayo showed a lot of determination to keep in touch, but this failed to halt the Kerry march. The Kingdom went on a massive scoring spree for the remainder of the game, notching up points as their opponents offered little response despite a second goal from TJ Byrne. Kerry advance to the All-Ireland Minor final, a place the Kerry minors haven’t been for quite some time.

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