NHL: Dooley hat-trick sees Mayo off

March 23, 2008
John Mike Dooley notched a hat-trick of goals as hosts Kerry edged their way to a 4-9 to 1-16 win over Mayo in a cracking NHL Division 2A contest in Tralee. By dint of their triumph, Kerry now finish second in the group and will play Carlow in the league semi-finals. Kerry enjoyed wind advantage in the first half and after a ragged opening raced 2-3 clear without replay after 20 minutes with two goals from Dooley, one a penalty. However the Kingdom then lost their way and they lost key defender Tom Cronin as Mayo went on to score 1-7 before the break. Stephen Broderick fired over three points while Adrian Freeman netted to haul Mayo on level terms, 1-7 to 2-4, at the interval. Mayo came out for the second half in flying form and hit some great points but Billy Brick struck for a goal for Kerry to bring them right back into contention. Kerry kept pressing and a point by Dooley edged his side back in front by the minimum and then disaster struck for Mayo when Keith Higgins was sent off 15 minutes from time. Dooley then struck for a magical goal two minutes later to put the hosts 4-7 to 1-11 in front only for Mayo to hit back with interest in firing over five unanswered points to nick the initiative once more. Trailing by two points with just two minutes left of normal time, Kerry showed a lot of spirit to put in a late surge and after Mayo's Paul Hunt also saw red, points from John Egan and Alan Dineen saw the Kingdom bag their fourth league win in dramatic style.

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