All-Ireland Football semi-final replay: Mayo beat Kerry 2-16 to 0-17

Andy Moran celebrates after palming in Mayo's second goal just after half-time
Andy Moran's goal just after half-time put Mayo firmly in control

Mayo booked their spot in the All-Ireland Football Final as they clinched a comprehensive 2-16 to 0-17 win over Kerry in the semi-final replay.

The goals were crucial as Diarmuid O'Connor's 28th-minute effort put Mayo 1-8 to 0-6 ahead at the break and Andy Moran then netted after the restart.

Moran's goal left Mayo eight ahead and while they did lose momentum, Kerry never really looked like fighting back.

Kieran Donaghy was among three sending-offs after punching Aidan O'Shea.

In the final minute of injury-time at Croke Park, Donaghy let his temper get the better of him as he got a straight red card for his strike on O'Shea, who again had been delegated to mark the Kerry full-forward.

Donaghy's team-mate Peter Crowley had been dismissed 10 minutes earlier for two yellow cards while Mayo substitute Paddy Durcan endured the same fate in injury-time.

In a game littered with cards, Kerry substitute Darran O'Sullivan appeared extremely unlucky to be handed a black card after being adjudged to have committed a third-man tackle on Cillian O'Connor shortly after Moran's goal.

O'Connor, himself, was legitimately blacked carded in the 50th minute and while it looked a blow for Mayo at the time, part-time place kicker Jason Doherty slotted two crucial frees just when his side were threatening to wobble.

Mayo, without an All-Ireland triumph since 1951, will meet the winners of Sunday's second semi-final between three-in-a-row seeking Dublin and Tyrone in the final on 17 September.

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford with Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice after the final whistle at Croke Park
Stephen Rochford won the tactical battle against his Kerry counterpart Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Mayo win tactical battle

The Mayo management conclusively won Saturday's tactical battle as their team's press upfield completely unhinged Kerry's kickout strategy.

Kingdom keeper Brian Kelly endured first-half horrors in attempting to pick out team-mates and at one stage booted one clearance over his own endline for a 45 as he tried to take a quick kickout.

That came after Mayo's marauding half-back Colm Boyle had soared to win several of Kelly's kickouts as Kerry were struggling to get their hands on the ball.

Kerry did hit three unanswered scores to lead 0-4 to 0-3 after 11 minutes but that was the last time they led as Mayo hit four straight points including three Cillian O'Connor frees.

After Paul Geaney, who was to finish with 10 points for Kerry, replied for the Kingdom, O'Connor's brother Diarmuid nipped in ahead of Kelly in the squad to flick a Donal Vaughan long ball to the net.

Kerry had an immediate chance to reply with a goal of their own but Peter Crowley pulled his shot across the face of goal.

Moran goal puts Mayo in firm control

Leading 1-8 to 0-6 at the break, Aidan O'Shea's soaring catch and run after the throw-in yielded another Mayo score and the Connacht county really were in total control on 40 minutes after Moran's palmed goal, following his give and go to Cillian O'Connor.

Ahead by eight with over 30 minutes, Mayo did appear to be falling into the trap of looking too early for the finishing line as the pace went out of their play for a time.

Sensing that Mayo were losing impetus, Kerry did come close to notching goals with Mayo keeper David Clarke making a brilliant double save to deny Geaney and substitute Barry John Keane also firing a shot inches wide.

But while Mayo were showing signs of nerves, they managed to tag on scores at crucial times with Doherty's free-taking accuracy crucial and the excellent Kevin McLoughlin and Durcan also on target.

The late trio of red cards made for a messy finish with Donaghy appearing to suggest that O'Shea had deliberately stepped on his toes before his clear punch on the Mayo star.

Durcan's two yellow cards mean he will still be eligible for the All-Ireland decider in three weeks.

Mayo: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Donal Vaughan, Chris Barrett (0-1); Keith Higgins, Aidan O'Shea, Colm Boyle; Séamus O'Shea, Tom Parsons; Kevin McLoughlin (0-2), Lee Keegan, Diarmuid O'Connor (1-0); Cillian O'Connor (0-6), Andy Moran (1-1), Jason Doherty (0-3). Subs: Paddy Durcan (0-1) for Vaughan 35 mins, Conor Loftus (0-2) for Diarmuid O'Connor HT, Conor O'Shea for Cillian O'Connor 51 (black card); Stephen Coen for Seamus O'Shea 60, Danny Kirby for Boyle 68, Ger Cafferkey for Barrett 73.

Kerry: Brian Kelly; Tadhg Morley, Shane Enright, Killian Young; Jonathan Lyne (0-1), Peter Crowley, Tom O'Sullivan; David Moran, Jack Barry (0-1); Donnchadh Walsh, Johnny Buckley (0-1), Stephen O'Brien; Paul Geaney (0-10), Kieran Donaghy, Paul Murphy. Subs: Darran O'Sullivan for Walsh HT, James O'Donoghue (0-3) for Buckley HT, Fionn Fitzgerald (0-1) for Enright 38 mins, Jack Savage for Darran O'Sullivan 44 (black card), Mark Griffin for Young 50, Barry John Keane for Tom O'Sullivan 62.

Referee: David Gough (Meath)

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