FL1: Kerry and Mayo to meet again

April 08, 2012

Kerry's Patrick Curtin breaks away from Eoghan Reilly of Mayo ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
A 1-12 each draw at Tralee means Kerry and Mayo will meet in a league semi-final.

Mayo were 1-8 to 0-7 to the good at the break. It could have been worse for Kerry but for a run of four late points from the hosts before the short whistle sounded.

Though this match was a bit of a dead rubber for the Kingdom, who were already guaranteed a top-place finish in Division One, it took on extra poignancy following the sad news of the death of Kerry legend John Egan, for whom a minute's silence was observed before throw-in.

Mayo's Jason Doherty fired over the opening point and Cillian O'Connor added two frees. Bryan Sheehan - a late addition to the Kerry starting team - replied from 55 yards.

Kerry soon levelled with scores from Colm Cooper, who also had a goal ruled out for picking the ball off the ground on 18 minutes, and Paddy Curtin.

Doherty punched a Mayo goal in off the crossbar and the visitors now led by 1-4 to 0-3.

The westerners hit four of the next six scores thanks in part to O'Connor and goalkeeper Dave Clarke ('45'). There were four points between them at the break and the Connacht champions were looking good for a semi-final place…

Mayo had the wind at their back for the second half. Curtin's third point reduced the arrears but Kevin McLoughlin and O'Connor (free) - his sixth of the game - made it 1-10 to 0-8.

Jack O'Connor had introduced supersubs Paul Galvin and Darran O'Sullivan during the break…

'Gooch' was brought to ground and Sheehan, who had kicked four points already, slid a low shot to the net to reduce the gap to two, 1-12 to 1-10. Mayo had also had wing back Lee Keegan sent off with a second yellow card.

Kerry got the next point to edge closer with seven minutes left. Copper missed a late free as Mayo hung on desperately but Sheehan (free) tied the scores up with the last kick of the match.

While Mayo will be a little disappointed not to have won, they had done enough to earn survival, a semi-final place and a rematch.

Kerry - B Kelly; S Enright, K Young, B McGuire; P Crowley, E Brosnan, J Lyne; B Sheehan (1-6, pen, 6f), K Donaghy; D O'Callaghan, B J Keane, J Buckley; C Cooper (0-2), P Curtin (0-3), K O'Leary. Subs: P Galvin (0-1) for D O'Callaghan, Darran O'Sullivan for B J Keane, M O Sé for E Brosnan, Declan O'Sullivan for K O'Leary, J O'Donoghue for J Buckley.

Mayo - D Clarke (0-1, '45); E Reilly, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, D Geraghty; J Gibbons, A O'Shea; K McLoughlin (0-2), A Moran (0-1), A Dillon (0-1); C O'Connor (0-6f), J Doherty (1-1), M Conroy. Subs: K Keane for E Reilly, C Mortimer for M Conroy, E Regan for C O'Connor, S McHale for J Doherty.

Referee - M Condon (Waterford).

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