Kerry and Mayo shared the points in their Allianz National Football League Division One tie at Austin Stack Park on Sunday afternoon. The draw was enough to see both counties reach the last four of this season’s competition, where they will meet once more.
The visitors were the better team for much of this tie and for long periods they looked the most likely winners. Kerry had already topped the table and secured qualification, so experimented and started a number of fringe players. The game was slipping away from Kerry as they trailed 1-8 to 0-7 at the break but Jack O’Connor introduced some of his big guns after the restart and this swung the contest.
Mayo played against the wind in the opening half but made a promising start and led 0-3 to 0-1 early on. Cillian O’Connor(2) and Jason Doherty were the scorers for the visitors. Bryan Sheehan, Paddy Curtin and Colm Cooper hit back for the home side to level the game. A goal from Doherty after twenty minutes gave Mayo a big advantage and they went in four ahead at the interval.
Paul Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan, Marc O’Se and Declan O’Sullivan were added to the Kerry fifteen early in the second period and with their help the men in green and gold staged a strong fightback. When Cooper was brought down in the square, Sheehan fired home the resultant penalty and Kerry were right back in it. The latter was the scorer in chief for Kerry and added three late points to gain a well deserved draw.
The two sides will clash again in the semifinal next Sunday and judged on this afternoon’s performance,Mayo will feel that they have every chance of causing a upset.
Kerry – Brian Kelly; Shane Enright, KillianYoung, Brian McGuire; Peter Crowley, Eoin Brosnan, Johnathan Lyne; Bryan Sheehan (1-6,0-6f,1-0 pen) Kieran Donaghy; David O’Callaghan ,BJ Keane, Johnny Buckley; Colm Cooper(0-2), Paddy Curtin(0-3), Kieran O’Leary.
Subs; Paul Galvin(0-1) and Darran O’Sullivan for Keane and O’Callaghan (both h/t), Marc O’Sè for Brosnan(45), James O’Donoghue for Buckley(58), Declan O’Sullivan for O’Leary(46).
Mayo – David Clarke(0-1,45); Eoin Rielly, Ger Cafferky, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle; Jason Givens, Aidan O’Regan; Kevin McLoughlin(0-2), Andy Moran, Alan Dillon(0-2); Killian O’Connor(0-6f), Jason Doherty(1-1), Michael Conroy.
Subs; Conor Mortimer for Conroy (48), Evan Regan for O’Connor (55), Shane McHale for Doherty (67).
Referee. Maurice Condon(Waterford).