Mayo and Kerry face replay after semi-final thriller

All Ireland Senior Football Semi-Final

Kerry 2-14 Mayo 2-14

Kerry and Mayo will do it all again next Saturday after a pulsating 2-14 to 2-14 All-Ireland semi-final at a wet Croke Park.

The miserable conditions didn’t stop some superb play from both teams and it was a Paddy Durcan score in the third minute of injury time that forced the replay.

Kerry substitute Bryan Sheehan had the chance to win it with a free in the last minute but it fell short and the ref blew the whistle on an absorbing content.

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford put Aidan O’Shea on Kieran Donaghy and the Breaffy man marshalled the Austin Stacks forward well throughout the game.

The Connacht side opened the scoring with a great goal in the fourth minute. A long ball in wasn’t dealt with and Andy Moran ripped the net with a shot, leaving Brian Kelly in the Kerry goals no chance.

Jason Doherty pointed for Mayo two minutes later and Kerry were shell shocked. It took them until the ninth minute to open their scoring account when Paul Geaney, who was fantastic throughout, kicked over a free.

However, by the 14th minute, they were level. Some lovely play by Donaghy resulted in Stephen O’Brien collecting the ball before firing it low past David Clarke in the Mayo goals.

Kerry then went two points up but Mayo hit 1-3 before Kerry got their next score.

First Andy Moran hit a great point and a few minutes later, Colm Boyle zig-zagged his way through the Kerry defence before slotting it past Kelly.

Cillian O’Connor hit over a point immediately after that and it was suddenly Mayo who were three points in the lead.

Andy Moran was in scintillating form for Mayo.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice took Michael Geaney off and put Jack Savage on but it wasn’t stopping Mayo. They had a great chance for another goal in the 22nd minute but Andy Moran’s second effort came off the foot of a Kerry back and looped over the post instead of into the net.

The Mayo supporters were in heaven at this point and when a long ball was pumped in for Donaghy, O’Shea got there first and the roar around Croke Park was deafening.

By half-time though, Kerry had pulled the gap back and both teams went in with the scoreline Mayo 2-05 1-08 Kerry.

Fitzmaurice made two more changes at half-time, with Jonathan Lyne coming on for Mark Griffin and Jack Barry on for Anthony Maher.

Mayo were still dominating though and they added four more points before Kerry got another goal to level the game again.

A great run from David Moran resulted in an excellent save from Clarke but Buckley was on hand to slot the rebound into the net from a tight angle.

Clarke was again called into action to make a good save from Barry in the 53rd minute with Kerry a point up.

Andy Moran was having an excellent game in left corner forward and he levelled the game again with 14 minutes to go and it was neck and neck after that until Paul Murphy got a crucial score for Kerry in the last minute of normal time.

However, the referee indicated at least five minutes of injury time and with just under four of those gone, Durcan picked up a pass from Donal Vaughan and hit the equaliser.

Kerry did have a chance to win it when substitute Sheehan stood over a free just outside the 45 yard line but it was short and drifted to the right and wide. That was the last kick of an enthralling encounter that looks certain to provide more entertainment next Saturday.

Kerry: B Kelly, S Enright, M Griffin, K Young (0-1), P Crowley, T Morley, P Murphy (0-1), D Moran, A Maher, M Geaney; J Buckley (1-0), S O’Brien (1-0), P Geaney (0-7, 4f), K Donaghy (0-1), J O’Donoghue (0-3, 2f).

Subs: J Savage for M Geaney 21m, J Barry for Maher and J Lyne for Griffin (h/t), D O’Sullivan for Buckley 54m, BJ Keane (0-1) for O’Donohgue 62m, B Sheehan for Donaghy 73m

Mayo: D Clarke, B Harrison, D Vaughan (0-1), K Higgins, L Keegan, C Barrett, C Boyle (1-0), S O’Shea, T Parsons (0-2), K McLoughlin, A O’Shea, D O’Connor, J Doherty (0-1), C O’Connor (0-4, 0-1f), A Moran (1-5).

Subs: P Durcan (0-1) for Boyle 43m; S Coen for S O’Shea 58m, D Drake for D O’Connor 67m; C Loftus for Doherty 74m

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)

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