Draw good enough for Kerry08/04/2012 - 16:58:23
Kerry 1-12 Mayo 1-12, Austin Stack Park
A draw for 14-man Mayo in Tralee was enough to gain a fourth place finish for them and a Division 1 semi-final berth.
Ironically, today’s result will see the Connacht champions meet table toppers Kerry again in the last-four next Sunday after a closely-fought encounter at Austin Stack Park.
Mayo built a 1-8 to 0-7 half-time advantage with the Kingdom rallying late on with a burst of four successive points.
Kerry fielded an experimental line-up - making six changes to the side that beat Laois - with Colm Cooper coming back in as captain for his first inter-county appearance of 2012.
Jason Doherty had quite an influence for the visitors up front, knocking over the opening point and punching in a goal off the crossbar for a brief 1-4 to 0-3 lead.
Bryan Sheehan, who was paired with Kieran Donaghy in midfield, landed a hat-trick of long range frees in the first half and Patrick Curtin and Cooper also chipped in with points.
James Horan’s men had a wind advantage in the second period and despite a second Curtin score for Kerry, free-taker Cillian O’Connor sent over his sixth of the day to move Mayo 1-10 to 0-8 ahead.
Although they had nothing to play for, the home side put on a spurt with substitutes Paul Galvin and Darran O’Sullivan increasing their influence.
Kerry clearly wanted to put in a strong performance on a day when they marked the passing of the county's legendary forward John Egan with a minute's silence.
The returning Cooper, having been set up by Peter Crowley, was fouled for a penalty. Sheehan tucked the penalty away with a low shot to take his tally to 1-4.
Mayo, with defender Lee Keegan sent-off for his second bookable offence, were left hanging on to their narrow lead.
It looked like they might claim the full points when Cooper was off target with a late free, however Sheehan, who top scored with 1-6, popped over a placed ball with the final kick to ensure a stalemate.
KERRY: B Kelly; S Enright, K Young, B McGuire; P Crowley, E Brosnan, J Lyne; B Sheehan (1-6, 0-6f, 1-0 pen), K Donaghy; D O'Callaghan, BJ Keane, J Buckley; C Cooper (0-2), P Curtin (0-3), K O'Leary.
Subs used: P Galvin (0-1) for Keane, Darran O'Sullivan for O'Callaghan (both half-time), M O Sè for Brosnan, Declan O'Sullivan for O'Leary (both 46 mins), J O'Donoghue for Buckley (58),
MAYO: D Clarke (0-1, 0-1 '45'); E Reilly, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; J Givens, A O'Regan; K McLoughlin (0-2), A Moran, A Dillon (0-2); C O'Connor (0-6, 0-6f), J Doherty (1-1), M Conroy.
Subs used: C Mortimer for Conroy (49 mins), E Regan for O'Connor (55), S McHale for Doherty (66).
Referee. Maurice Condon (Waterford).
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