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Goals From Diarmuid O’Connor And Andy Moran Inspire Mayo To Place In All-Ireland Final

We had the start of a bumper weekend of football in Croke Park this Saturday afternoon as Kerry faced-off with Mayo in their highly anticipated replay.

However, it was Mayo who got the win – 2-16 to 0-17. They play the winner of tomorrow’s clash between Dublin and Tyrone.

After last week’s draw, all eyes were on how the managers would line out their sides. Stephen Rochford opted to play Aidan O’Shea further up the field, starting in the middle while settling at centre-back, dropping deep to keep an eye on Kieran Donaghy.

Meanwhile, Éamonn Fitzmaurice made a big call in dropping James O’Donoghue, leaving the 2014 Footballer of the Year on the bench.

After an even opening ten minutes, Johnny Buckley kicked a super score to put the Kingdom 0-4 to 0-3 ahead – Kerry’s third point in a row.

However, within two minutes, Kevin McLoughlin had put the Connacht side in front with a fine score of his own.

There was also a surreal moment when the Kerry goalkeeper Brian Kelly took a kick-out – and ended up giving away a ’45!

If this wasn’t a sign that Mayo were on top then we finally got one when Diarmuid O’Connor got the game’s first goal. After the initial shot from Donal Vaughan dropped short, O’Connor rose highest to palm the ball into the net.

Mayo were in a good position at the interval, leading 1-08 to 0-06 – and looking set to reach another All-Ireland final – but they could have been further ahead.

Kerry had to make changes and opted to put on O’Donoghue – who scored 90 seconds after the re-start.

However, less than a minute later, Mayo had a second goal. Andy Moran, who was a thorn in the side of the Kerry defence in the drawn game, got the crucial goal – to put his side 2-09 to 0-07 ahead.

Moran made a great catch before laying it off to Cillian O’Connor. O’Connor gave it back to Moran who had the easiest of finishes to put his side eight points up.

As if things weren’t going bad enough for Fitzmaurice’s men, they lost Darren O’Sullivan to a black card heading into the final quarter. O’Sullivan, introduced as a half-time substitute was given the line after an altercation – and is fair to say he was furious with David Gough’s decision.

Minutes later, Cillian O’Connor received the same fate – as the black card controversy will rear its head again.

However, Kerry kept on fighting and, with only ten minutes to go, the gap was just four points.

It seemed that every time the Kingdom got any bit of initiative, something went wrong. This trend continued when Peter Crowley was sent off after receiving a second yellow card after 63 minutes.

From here Stephen Rochford’s men pushed on and an impressive finish ensured that we will see the Green and Red of Mayo in Croker on the third Sunday of September.


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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.