Dublin beat Kerry 0-22 to 2-14 in thrilling All-Ireland Football semi-final

Kerry's Anthony Maher tries to keep pace with Dublin's Kevin McManamon
Dublin and Kerry served up a thrilling semi-final at Croke Park

Dublin fought back from five points down at half-time to edge a 0-22 to 2-14 victory over Kerry in a thrilling All-Ireland Football semi-final.

The holders looked in control as they led 0-9 to 0-4 but goals from Darran O'Sullivan and Paul Geaney helped Kerry move 2-8 to 0-9 ahead by the break.

Dublin levelled by the 49th minute only for Kerry to twice move three up again.

However, Dublin hit six of the last seven scores over the final 14 minutes to set up a final meeting with Mayo.

Free-taker Dean Rock finished with 12 points although the two clinching scores from substitute Eoghan O'Gara and Diarmuid Connolly, were both from play as Dublin completed a fourth championship triumph over Kerry in six years.

Paul Geaney outjumps Stephen Cluxton to score Kerry's second goal
Dublin keeper Stephen Cluxton conceded two goals late in the first half

Cluxton mistake hands Kingdom lifeline

Kerry's Donnchadh Walsh had a sniff of an early goal chance only for Davy Byrne to avert the danger with a firm shoulder but Dublin quickly moved into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead helped by three Rock points.

David Moran's score from play opened Kerry's account in the 14th minute but with the Kingdom struggling badly on their own kick-outs, the champions appeared to have a grip on the contest as they led 0-9 to 0-4 after 24 minutes.

However, the match turned dramatically in the remaining 13 minutes before half-time as Kerry hit 2-4 without reply.

In shades of Donegal keeper Paul Durcan's horror moment in the 2014 All-Ireland Final, Stephen Cluxton's errant short kick-out gifted Kerry's opening goal as Walsh set up O'Sullivan for a simple finish to the roof of the net.

Cluxton was involved again for Kerry's second goal as Geaney nipped in ahead of him after a high ball from Anthony Maher, with an umpire ruling that the Kingdom forward's palmed effort had crossed the line.

Dublin would have been entitled to have exhibited shellshock at the break but to their credit, the champions quickly cut the Kingdom lead to only two after the resumption and Brian Fenton's score levelled the contest by the 49th minute.

Kingdom unhappiness at referee calls

Kerry were three ahead again by the 57th minute with substitute Barry John Keane stroking over a glorious score and the margin was still three on 62 minutes as a Paul Murphy point cancelled out another Rock free.

But two more Rock frees and a Philly McMahon score had Dublin on terms by the 66th minute and they were ahead as the game entered injury-time when the outstanding Kevin McManamon stroked over a glorious score.

A minute later, Kerry substitute Stephen O'Brien levelled again as he fisted over when there was a hint of a goal chance but the closing points from O'Gara and Connolly, which was a glorious curling effort, ensured the Dubs will face Mayo on 18 September.

In between the two clinching scores, Kerry were left furious as referee David Gough waved aside claims for a free after a big hit by McManamon on Peter Crowley near Dublin's 21-metre line.

It was one of a number of tight calls and Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice said he would "bite his lip" when asked for his views on the officiating.

Referee Gough was reported to have been pelted with match programmes and other items as he left the field to a chorus of boos from Kerry fans after the final whistle.

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