|26 June 2022
|Sam Maguire Cup
Kerry have set up a mouth watering All Ireland Football Semi Final, against arch rivals Dublin, as they overcame a tough Mayo side in headquarters this evening.
David Clifford’s first half goal was crucial to the Kingdom’s victory, but they started to pull away late in the second half, coming home 1-18 to 0-13 point winners.
Mayo will be disappointed after missing some key chances today, while allowing Kerry space for their prolific forwards to tick away at the scores.
The elements set up a rather drab opening to this titanic tussle in the All Ireland Quarter Final, but Injured or not David Clifford with 1-2 in the opening half was crucial to give Kerry the advantage.
O’Connor and Clifford exchanged frees early in the tie, before Gavin White put Kerry into the lead after two minutes, but little to separate them when Conor Loftus sent a beauty over to tie the contest in the third minute.
Aidan O’Shea kicked a sensational score off the outside of his left boot, to see Mayo lead for the second time after eight minutes, with the Kingdom failing to create chances the men from the west, would fail to capitalise and take the game by the scruff of the neck, with Tom O’Sullivan and Clifford both waving the white flag midday through the half to make it 0-4 to 0-3 in their favour.
Rob Hennelly would kick a long range free after 21 minutes to again level the tie, after Sean O’Shea and O’Connor both kicked points, but also missed scorable chances earlier as the ever changing weather conditions caused hassle for both teams.
After Jack Carney levelled the tie for the fifth time after 25 minutes, Mayo pressed up and Stephen Coen now moved to the backline, came up with a peach two minutes later as Mayo started to put a marker down.
Just when the tie went in their favour, a beautiful link up by Stephen O’Brien and Clifford resulted in the Fossa man hitting the back of the net, sensational left footed strike to make it 1-6 to 0-7 two minutes before the half hour mark.
Just on the half hour mark, referee David Gough had a word with Aidan O'Shea and he was shown a black card, the linesman spotting something off the ball and getting the attention of the match official, another blow for them after Clifford’s earlier goal.
Cillian O’Coonor helped reduce the deficit, but it looked like David Moran had kicked Kerry two ahead going into the break, but Kevin McLoughlin with the goal at his mercy hits a shot over the bar, right at the end of the half, Kerry ahead 1-7 to 0-9 at the break.
Again Mayo would falter in the second half, allowing Kerry space and easy scores, as it looked they could run clear midway in the half, they ended up chasing the Kingdom late in the half and failed to answer their scoring exploits and defensive line.
Mayo had fire in their bellies at the start of the second half, Jordan Flynn and Matthew Ruane cancelling a fisted point by Tom O’Sullivan to again level this nip and tuck tie. Graham O’Sullivan and Clifford added further Kerry scores, to lead again by two, 1-10 to 0-11.
James Carr made it a one point game again as the momentum was all with Mayo, but the Kerry attack started to take the game and turn it on its head, managing seven scores in a row before Flynn added the next Mayo point on the 67th minute mark, the 1-17 to 0-13 scoreline not in their favour.
Sean O’Shea kicked a late free before injury time, to make it a eight point margin, not the best of Kerry performances but it was enough to see them make the Semi Final, up next are the Dubs and this result also sees all four provincial winners make the final four stage.
|Brian Ó Beaglaíoch
|Croke Park, Jones's Road, Dublin, D01 WY49, Ireland