Deadly Sheahan rescues Kerry at the death

Allianz Football League Division 1
Kerry 1-12 Mayo 1-12 
By Murt Murphy
While it may have taken a last minute point from the unerring boot of Kerry's own version of William Tell, Bryan Sheehan, the Kingdom got a deserved draw against Mayo in this Allianz Division League final round game played before almost 5000 spectators at the Austin Stack Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was tough luck on the Westerners but if Conor Mortimer had shown more composure in the final five minutes, when he ballooned two decent scoring chances wide....

Still, Kerry on their second half display when they summoned some of their heavy hitters off the bench like Paul Galvin, Declan O'Sullivan and Marc Ó Sé deserved a share of spoils having come being 1-8 to 0-3 adrift in the 28th minute.
Mayo dominated long periods of the opening half against Kerry's young guns as Aidan O'Shea caught some great ball at midfield despite the good work of Bryan Sheehan. 
In fact O'Shea almost caught the Kerry defence out in the opening minute when he raced through the middle and nervous debutant Brian Kelly had to dive full length to turn it behind for a forty five.

Early Mayo points from Cillian O'Connor with two (one free kick), and Jason Doherty with Bryan Sheehan replying for Kerry with the first of three sixty yard free kicks.
Kerry had a fortunate escape in 13th minute when Cillian O'Connor sent Andy Moran inside the Kerry cover, but he could only find the side netting.
Kerry rallied briefly with their returned skipper Colm Cooper firing over a fine point, which was followed by a similar effort from Patrick Curtin. Then came a controversial moment when Colm Cooper was at the end of a sweeping Kerry move to plant to ball in the Mayo net, but it was disallowed, presumably for a square infringement.
Mayo appeared to take heart from this let off and with Aidan O'Shea and Andy Moran pulling the strings; Mayo hit Kerry for 1-4 without reply from the 19th to 24th minute with Cillian O'Connor crossing for Jason Doherty to fist the ball to net.
Kerry rallied approaching half time with Sheehan kicking two mighty frees from sixty yards and Colm Cooper and the promising Paddy Curtin cutting Mayo's lead at the interval to four points (1-8- 0-7).
Kerry then introduced Darran O'Sullivan and Paul Galvin, but again after an early Curtin point, it appeared that Mayo thanks to hard graft of Andy Moran and Alan Dillon, had taken a grip on proceedings, as they moved 1-12 to 0-9 clear by the 48th minute but incredibly Mayo failed to score for the rest of the game, shooting four bad wides instead.
Kerry were now in full flow as Mayo lost wing back Lee Keegan to a harsh looking second yellow in the 46th minute and after a Paul Galvin special, Kerry were awarded a penalty in the 52nd minute when Cooper was upended as he was about to shoot, from a Crowley assist.
Sheehan sent David Clarke the wrong way and it was now a two point game.
To Mayo's credit they did not capitulate with fourteen men and they looked like keeping Kerry out but Sheehan proved their nemesis when he converted a 67th minute free and then levelled the contest three minutes into injury time with the last attack of the game.
Ironically, the draw means that Kerry and Mayo will meet on Sunday next in the League semi final and if the main course is anything like Sunday's aperitif, then it should be cracking contest.

Man of the Match
Bryan Sheehan (Kerry)

Sheehan was the difference the sides and beats Andy Moran, Aidan O'Shea and Peter Crowley to the gong. He not only put in a huge shift at midfield but kicked 1-6 from placed balls, including a crucial goal from the spot and a last minute pressure free.


Scorers
Kerry: B Sheehan 1-6 (1-0 pen, 6f), P Curtin 0-3, C Cooper 0-2, P Galvin 0-1.
Mayo: C O'Connor (6f) 0-6, J Doherty 1-1, K McLoughlin 0-2, A Dillon, A Moran, D Clarke (1 45) 0-1 each.

Kerry: B Kelly; S Enright, K Young, B McGuire; P Crowley, E Brosnan, J Lyne; B Sheehan, K Donaghy; D O'Callaghan, B J Keane, J Buckley; C Cooper, P Curtin, K O'Leary.
Subs: P Galvin for D O'Callaghan (ht); Darran O'Sullivan for BJ Keane (ht); M Ó Sé for E Brosnan (45); Declan O'Sullivan for K O'Leary (47); J O'Donoghue for J Buckley (58).

Mayo: D Clarke; E Reilly, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, D Geraghty; J Gibbons, A O'Shea; K McLoughlin, A Moran, A Dillon; C O'Connor, J Doherty, M Conroy.
Subs: K Keane for E Reilly (47); C Mortimer for M Conroy (48); E Regan for C O'Connor (55); S McHale for J Doherty (68).
Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford).

Kerry boss O'Connor happy with the point but Horan rues missed chances

By Murt Murphy
Kerry boss Jack O'Connor felt that Kerry deserved a draw and was plased with the second half comeback.
"We started off poorly and gave them an eight-point lead at one stage but we were determined to keep the run that we are on at the moment going for as long as we can so it was good to come back and get the draw."
O'Connor was also pleased with his younger players who are knocking on his door looking for starting places
"We just need to use our panel. Fellas aren't in training just to sit on the bench. It worked out pretty well in the end. The older fellas came in and gave us a bit of composure and a bit and energy."
"Our fellas fought tooth and nail. We had a lot of new players in there. It's hard for that many new players to knit together. In the overall scheme of things we are happy enough. We got out of there with a draw. It didn't look like we would at one stage of the game.
"It's very hard to throw that many new players in together and expect them to survive t that level. It was a great experience for them and they will improve from it."

"We are very happy with a lot of the young fellas. Curtin did very well today. That's what the league is about, trying to find a few new players. We think we have young players who can play at that level, and this exposure is great for them."

But Jack O'Connor is expecting nobody else right now and he just smiled when he was asked about the whereabouts of Tom O'Sullivan
"We have what we have at the moment. Tomás obviously misses another game which is disappointing for him and for us. But we have what we have."

Mayo boss James Horan was happy with a draw at the end.
."We could have won yeah; we had a couple of chances near the end where we did not take the right option. But we will take the result, we will learn from it and we will now start preparing for next weekend."

"Its great to be playing the form team in the country at moment, Kerry are top of the League and have been playing very well. We are delighted to be getting good games against good teams and we will prepare well and we are looking forward to it"

What about the performance of the match official
"- You meet a different referee for every League game and some of the decisions are hard to interpret. I felt we got some decisions today and we did not get others that I thought we might have got, so it works both ways. But look overall we had a chance to win the game but we did not close it out"

Horan felt losing the man did cost them in the final analysis

"Yes that affected us as we ran out of juice in the second half and Kerry came on strong at us. We held out though and got in some good turnovers and we had chances near the end but the lads did not take the right shot options. We could have hung on for the win if we had made better decisions near the end. We had a couple frees in the scoring zone that we missed but we will look at those and review them."

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