Mayo beat the Kingdom to claim a place in the All-Ireland MFC final
A first-half goal from Ronan Clarke proved crucial as Mayo booked their place in the All-Ireland MFC final with 1-8 to 0-9 victory over Kerry at Bord na Mona O'Connor Park, Tullamore, this afternoon.
The win sets up a third meeting with Galway in this year's championship as the Tribesmen won their place in the decider with a one-point victory over Derry in the other semi-final, also played today.
Kerry were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead when Clarke jinked his way in for a finish past Kerry 'keeper Shay O'Meara from close range, but the Mayo lead was short-lived as the Kingdom responded to open up a two-point lead once again, 0-6 to 1-1.
But Mayo took advantage of a black card for Kerry's Donagh O'Sullivan to reel off four points in a row through Clarke (free), Dara Hurley, Jack Keane and James Maheady to take a 1-5 to 0-6 lead into the break.
Another Clarke free pushed the lead out to three in the fourth minute of the new half, which turned out to be a low-scoring affair.
While Kerry found the Mayo defence hard to crack, they got a fortuitous break on 39 minutes that left Paddy Lane advancing towards goal. The Kerry corner forward tried to place his shot but Mayo 'keeper David Dolan proved equal to it, pushing the ball onto the upright and then collecting the rebound before eventually clearing it to safety.
Kerry substitute Darragh O'Connor and Cathal Keaveney swapped scores, as did Clarke and Donagh O'Sullivan, Mayo still holding a three-point advantage going into added time.
Mayo had opportunities to put two scores between the teams but missed the target, leaving the Kingdom still in with a chance. And they almost got in for a goal as Colm Browne was found in the danger area but again Dolan proved equal to the effort.
A free by Paddy Lane late on proved to be just a consolation as Mayo did enough to see out the five minutes of time injury time and claim their place in the All-Ireland final.
Mayo: David Dolan; Rio Mortimer, John MacMonagle, Lorcan Silke; Liam Maloney, Colm McHale, Paul Gilmore; Jack Keane (0-1), Luke Feeney; James Maheady (0-1), Dara Hurley (0-1), Diarmuid Duffy; Cathal Keaveney (0-2), Ronan Clarke (1-3), Niall Hurley.
Subs used: Oliver Armstrong, Zac Collins, Sean O'Dowd, Adam Boukioud, Oisin Cronin.
Kerry: Shay O'Meara; Maidhci Lynch, Liam Evans, Colm Browne; Eddie Healy, Darragh O'Connor (0-1), Fionn Murphy; Jack O'Sullivan, Evan Boyle; Niall Collins, Cormac Dillon (0-2), Jack Clifford; Paddy Lane (0-2), Donagh O'Sullivan (0-2), Odhran Ferris (0-1).
Subs used: Darragh O'Connor (0-1), Ian O'Sullivan, John Burke, Ruairí Burke, Thomas Ashe.
*See Tuesday's print edition for a full match report and reaction