Down 1-17 1-18 Kerry

Conor O'Prey gets ahead of Kerry's Darragh O'Connell in the semi-final
Conor O'Prey gets ahead of Kerry's Darragh O'Connell in the semi-final

A controversial injury-time free gave Kerry victory over Down in Saturday's Christy Ring Cup semi-final in Newry.

Benny Ennis netted as Down made a good start but Kerry hit back and Gary O'Brien's goal helped them into a 1-12 to 1-5 lead at the break.

Paul Braniff fired over five frees as Down fought back and Kerry pair Gary O'Brien and Tom Murnane were sent-off.

Down levelled but Shane Nolan won it for Kerry with the last-gasp free.

The Mourne men failed to register a score for a 20-minute spell in the first half - a dominant Kerry side scored 1-7 in the same period.

O'Brien was dismissed for yellows on 59 minutes while Murnane received a straight red for a dangerous tackle five minutes later.

Down substitute Scott Nicholson added two points as the Ulster team brought themselves level.

Down protested as Kerry were awarded a free three minutes into added time, which Nolan converted.

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