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All-Ireland GAA Football Championship Semi-Final – Kerry 1-20 Mayo 1-11
Cooper guides Kerry back into All-Ireland final
From the GAA.ie web site
GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final
Kerry 1-20 Mayo 1-11
After a one-year hiatus, Kerry are back in the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship final for the seventh time in eight seasons after a nine-point defeat of Mayo in Croke Park on Sunday. Colm Cooper kicked 1-7 for the Munster champions, including a vital goal in the 54th minute, two minutes after Cillian O’Connor had dragged Mayo back into the game with a fine strike. Kerry led by 0-8 to 0-6 at the break after kicking five of the last six points of the first half, before taking control of the game at the start of the second half.
Kerry’s second half dominance coincided with the introduction of Paul Galvin on 43 minutes, the former Footballer of the Year playing a vital role in solidifying the Kingdom midfield as well as kicking two points. Galvin popped over a score from play within seconds of his introduction and Jack O’Connor’s side stitched six points together in a nine-minute period to lead by 0-16 to 0-8. However, Mayo were thrown a lifeline when Andy Moran’s shot was well saved by Kerry goalkeeper Brendan Kealy and Cillian O’Connor swept home the rebound with a superb, driven shot from a tight angle. Kerry and Cooper delivered the perfect riposte. A long ball into the Kerry full-forward line was not dealt with by Mayo goalkeeper Robert Hennelly and his punched clearance was pounced on by Cooper, who jinked past his marker and slammed the ball to the roof of the net.
Although Mayo had a string of goal chances – Moran in particular caused problems for the Kerry full-back line – but they failed to find the goal that would have made the last 10 minutes interesting, with Donal Vaughan, Aidan O’Shea and Moran all missing opportunities in that period. Kerry, though, showed why they will now go into the All-Ireland final as favourites by hitting four unanswered points in the dying minutes to register a nine-point win that probably flattered their overall dominance. It was a dispiriting end to Mayo’s adventure under James Horan this year, but there is a real sense that the Mayo manager is building something special, as Vaughan – who finished with 0-3 – full-back Ger Cafferkey and the livewire Moran all gave superb performances.
It looked like it might be another black day at GAA Headquarters for Mayo when Kerry sliced through their attack with the very first move of the game. A brilliant exchange of passes saw Cooper play Darran O’Sullivan in on goal, but the Glenbeigh-Glencar man’s chipped shot drifted just wide. After a hectic opening, seven minutes elapsed before the opening score of the game, Enda Varley kicking the Westerners into the lead with a free. Amazingly, Darran O’Sullivan had a second goal chance in the eighth minute, again after Kerry had ripped through the heart of the Mayo defence, but this time it was Hennelly who blocked the Kerry forward’s stinging shot.
Kerry were wasteful in the opening 15 minutes, racking up four wides and a shot off the post, with Tomás Ó Sé the only player to score in that period. Meanwhile, a pair of frees from Varley and Cillian O’Connor had sent Mayo into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead. However, that advantage could have been far greater had Moran not missed a superb goal chance. Moran shimmied past his marker, Marc Ó Sé, and unleashed a shot that was well palmed away by Brendan Kealy, the Kerry goalkeeper. Although Moran only had two points to show at the end of the game, he caused Ó Sé serious problems with his movement off the ball and trickery when in possession. Kerry’s chief tactic was to hit direct ball into Kieran Donaghy at full-forward, but the giant Austin Stacks man was well marked by Cafferkey and any high ball into the Mayo attack came back out the field just as quick.
When Donaghy did finally evade the close attention of Cafferkey, he drove over a fine point from play, levelling the match at 0-5 to 0-5 after 28 minutes. Donaghy eventually moved out to midfield just before the break, with Declan O’Sullivan moving into full-forward, after struggling to make much of an impact under the high ball. After struggling in the opening quarter, Kerry finally found their rhythm and finished the half by kicking five unanswered points, Cooper hitting a brace to add to further scores from Eoin Brosnan and Sheehan.
But just when it appeared that Mayo had drifted out of the game, Moran sent over an inspirational point – his side’s first in 14 minutes – from way out under the Cusack Stand to leave just two between the teams at the interval. Kerry’s lead was out to four when Kieran O’Leary and Sheehan hit scores on the restart, but Vaughan and Moran hit right back to leave things as they were at the break. It was then that O’Connor decided to unleash Galvin and his impact was immediate. As he so often does, Galvin won plenty of breaking ball and within nine minutes, the Kingdom had scored nine points without reply, Cooper hitting another two from play and Donaghy grabbing his second with a punched effort.
That purple patch was ended fairly abruptly when Moran again beat Ó Sé and forced Kealy into a fine save, but O’Connor was quickest to the rebound and slammed the ball to the top corner. Kerry’s response was awesome, as Cooper hit back within a minute to break the Westerners’ hearts. The inspirational Vaughan had just about the best of Mayo’s goal chances, but the Ballinrobe man slammed the ball over the bar when he probably should have found the net. Aidan O’Shea had a shot blocked by Brosnan and Moran struck the outside of the post. It just wasn’t to be for Mayo. With time running out, Kerry added four late points to add a coat of gloss to the scoreline, Cooper bringing his tally to 1-7, while Galvin had the last say of the afternoon to give the Kingdom a nine-point win.
Kerry Scorers: C Cooper 1-7 (0-4f), B Sheehan 0-3 (0-3f), K O’Leary 0-2, K Donaghy 0-2, P Galvin 0-2, Darran O’Sullivan, E Brosnan, T Ó Sé, S Scanlon, all 0-1.
Mayo Scorers: C O’Connor 1-3 (0-3f), D Vaughan 0-3, E Varley 0-2 (0-1f), A Moran 0-2, L Keegan 0-1.
Kerry: Brendan Kealy, Killian Young, Marc O Se, Tom O’Sullivan; Tomas O Se, Eoin Brosnan, Aidan O’Mahony; Anthony Maher, Bryan Sheehan; Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, Donnchadh Walsh; Colm Cooper, Kieran Donaghy, Kieran O’Leary. Subs: P Galvin for D Walsh (43), J O’Donoghue for Darran O’Sullivan (62), D Bohan for T Ó Sé (66), S Scanlon for B Sheehan (68), BJ Keane for Declan O’Sullivan (71).
Mayo: Robert Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Richie Feeney, Donal Vaughan, Trevor Mortimer; Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Dillon, Andy Moran; Enda Varley, Alan Freeman, Cillian O’Connor. Subs: R McGarrity for S O’Shea (48), L Keegan for R Feeney (48), A Campbell for A Freeman (54), J Doherty for E Varley (58).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)
Attendance: 50, 643
The Kerry Team to play Mayo in the All-Ireland Semi-Final on Sunday August 21st is as follows –
1. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin 2. Killian Young Renard 3. Marc Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht 4. Tom O’Sullivan Rathmore 5. Tomas Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht 6. Eoin Brosnan Dr Crokes 7. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore 8. Anthony Maher Duagh 9. Bryan Sheehan St Marys 10. Darran O’Sullivan Glenbeigh/Glencar 11. Declan O’Sullivan Dromid Pearses 12. Donnchadh Walsh Cromane 13. Colm Cooper Dr Crokes 14. Kieran Donaghy Austin Stacks 15. Kieran O’Leary Dr Crokes
Subs – Tomas Mac a’tSaoir, An Ghaeltacht; Shane Enright, Tarbert; Paul Galvin, Finuge; Daniel Bohane, Austin Stacks; James O’Donoghue, Legion; Seamus Scanlon, Currow; Barry John Keane, Kerins O’Rahillys; Padraig Reidy, Scartaglin; Tommy Griffin, Dingle; Johnny Buckley, Dr Crokes; Peter Crowley, Laune Rangers; Brian McGuire, Listowel Emmets; Daithí Geaney, Dingle; Niall O’Mahony, Spa; Adrian O’Connell, St Michaels/Foilmore; Daithí Casey, Dr Crokes.
Bainisteóir: Jack O’Connor (Piarsaigh Na Dromada) Physical Coach: Alan O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahillys)
Coach: Donie Buckley (Castleisland Desmonds)
Roghnóirí: Ger O’Keeffe (Austin Stacks) & Diarmuid Murphy (Daingean)
Mayo (SF v Kerry): R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; R Feeney, D Vaughan, T Mortimer; A O’Shea, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin, A Dillon, A Moran; E Varley, A Freeman, C O’Connor.