O’Mahony & Evans look forward to All Ireland football semi final

Semi Finals are there to be won they say

Well this Sunday both Kerry and Mayo will enter Croke Park looking to be the team heading back to the Capital on the third Sunday of September

These two teams have been along with Dublin the most consistent sides over the last five years. The story for Kerry and Mayo coming into this game is far from similar with both teams finding different paths to the last four

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Eamon Fitzmaurice’s men came into the championship on the back of league success where they stopped Dublin’s drive for five in a row with a 0-20 – 1-16 full time score. That win also ended Dublin’s long unbeaten run with The Kingdom winning their first National League since 2009

The championship saw the Green and Gold breeze to Munster glory with wins over Clare and Cork. An All Ireland quarter final against Galway followed in a where second or third gear was enough to see Kerry advance. Yet to reach top gear this Kerry team has plenty more to give but with a lack of serious challenges do they come in to this game in danger against a battle hardened team like Mayo?

Stephen Rochford’s men just like 2016 have had to come through the qualifiers with some near falls against Derry, Cork and the more recent All Ireland quarter final against Roscommon. However the replayed game against The Rossies saw the last remaining Connacht side in the hunt for Sam deliver their best performance to date

Kerry have some of the most talented players in the country and it is their full forward line that is the real eye catcher. Paul Geaney is in line for player of the year and his corner forward partner James O’Donoghue comes in to this game with recent injury worries so will he be fit and if he is these are two men alone that can cause enough damage to any defence. Along in that line is the towering presence of Kieran Donaghy, the Austin Stacks man has been back to the levels of old this year giving full backs nightmares and no doubt Mayo will need to plan how to stop him as back in 2014 it was ‘Star’ that caused real problems that day down in Limerick

Where Kerry will be hoping on their full forward line to click Mayo will be looking at their half back to put them on the front foot. A big part of the line for Mayo is Lee Keegan who missed the last game through injury but he is expected to be back for Sunday and if himself and with another player of the year contender Aidan O’Shea get on top of their men as well as contribute to the scores Mayo will be in with a chance of reaching another All Ireland final

To get more on this game our reporter Daithí Boland spoke to two men with strong links to the Shannonside region as well as the two counties playing is John O’Mahony and John Evans

John O’Mahony was the last man to lead Leitrim to provincial success when they won the JJ Nestor Cup back in 1994. Over twenty years later after managing his native Mayo and Galway to provincial success as well as two All Ireland titles with the Tribesmen John finds himself back involved with the Leitrim senior footballers as a selector

John Evans is a former Roscommon manager. The Kerry native was in charge from 2012-15 with promotion gained from division two being the big achievement for a side looking to make their stamp as a side on the up as well as nurturing some of the successful U21 players to senior grade

Daithí began by asking John O’Mahony if he thought whether or not Mayo had found their form after that replay win over Roscommon

Last 5 Championship meetings:

2014 Al Ireland S/F: Kerry 3-16 – 3-13 Mayo (Replay AET)

2014 All Ireland S/F: Kerry 1-16 – 1-16 Mayo

2011 All Ireland S/F: Kerry 1-20 – 1-11 Mayo

2006 All Ireland F: Kerry 4-15 – 3-05 Mayo

2005 All Ireland Q/F: Kerry 2-15 – 0-18 Mayo

 

2017 Allianz League

Allianz FL Division 1 round 2
At Austin Stack Park
Mayo 0-15
Kerry 1-10
Mayo – D Clarke; P Durcan, K Higgins, D Newcombe; S Coen, C Boyle, D Drake; D Vaughan, T Parsons (0-1); F Boland, C O’Connor (0-9), C O’Shea (0-1); K McLoughlin (0-1), A Moran (0-3), J Doherty. Subs: E O’Donoghue for D Drake, D O’Connor for F Boland, S Nally for D Vaughan, E Regan for J Doherty, M Plunkett for E Regan (BC), D Kirby for C O’Shea.
Kerry – B Kelly; R Shanahan, M Griffin, P Crowley; J Lyne, K Young, T Morley; D Moran, J Barry (0-2); A Spillane, P Murphy (0-1), D Walsh; J Savage (0-1), P Geaney (0-2), C Keane. Subs: B J Keane (1-3) for P Geaney, T O’Sullivan for K Young, M Geaney for A Spillane, C Geaney (0-1) for C Keane, J Foley for R Shanahan, B O’Sullivan for J Lyne (BC), J Foley (BC).

 

2017 Championship:

Kerry

Munster S/F: 1-18 – 1-12 Clare

Munster F: 1-23 0-15 Cork

All Ireland Q/F: 1-18 – 0-13 Galway

 

Mayo

Connacht Q/F: 2-14 – 0-11 Sligo

Connacht S/F: 1-11 – 0-15 Galway

All Ireland Qualifiers R3: 2-14 – 0-13 Clare

All Ireland Qualifier R4: 0-27 – 2-20 Cork (AET)

All Ireland Q/F: 1-12 – 2-09 Roscommon

All Ireland Q/F Replay: 4-19 – 0-09 Roscommon

 

Top Scorers:

Kerry

J O’Donoghue 0-17

P Geaney 1-13

K Donaghy 1-02

 

Mayo

C O’Connor 3-49

Andy Moran 1-15

 

Last games:

All-Ireland SFC quarter-final
At Croke Park
Kerry 1-18
Galway 0-13
Kerry – B Kelly; S Enright, M Griffin, F Fitzgerald; T Morley, P Crowley, P Murphy (0-2); D Moran (0-2), J Barry; M Geaney, J Buckley (0-2), D Walsh (0-1); P Geaney (0-4), K Donaghy (1-1), J O’Donoghue (0-1). Subs: S O’Brien (0-2) for M Geaney, J Savage (0-1) for J O’Donoghue, A Maher for J Barry, B J Keane (0-2) for K Donaghy, K Young for T Morley, J Lyne for D Walsh.

 

All-Ireland SFC quarter-final replay
At Croke Park
Mayo 4-19
Roscommon 0-9
Mayo – D Clarke; B Harrison, D Vaughan (0-1), K Higgins (1-0); C Boyle, C Barrett (0-1), P Durcan; T Parsons (0-1), S O’Shea; K McLoughlin (1-0), A O’Shea (0-2), D O’Connor (0-1); J Doherty (0-2), C O’Connor (1-6), A Moran (1-1). Subs: C Loftus for J Doherty, D Drake (0-1) for K McLoughlin, A Dillon for A Moran, S Coen (0-1) for D Vaughan, D Kirby for A O’Shea, S Nally (0-2) for C Barrett.