Keegan joy for Mayo as Kerry name unchanged team


Keegan joy for Mayo as Kerry name unchanged team

The Mayo defender requested a meeting with the Central Hearings Committee after he was red carded by David Coldrick towards the end of the first half last Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final for aiming a kick at Johnny Buckley.

Keegan didn’t make contact with the Kerry forward but was dismissed by Coldrick as, under rule, an attempted kick with minimal force is a category II sending off offence.

But the availability of the two-time All Star is a huge boost for Mayo as they prepare for the replay in the Gaelic Grounds.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice last night named an unchanged Kerry side from the one that started last Sunday — but there is strong speculation the same 15 won’t begin the game.

Kieran Donaghy is unlikely to be thrown in from the outset in the Gaelic Grounds, despite his impressive cameo off the bench five days’ ago. The 2006 footballer of the year hasn’t started a Championship game since last August’s All-Ireland quarter-final win over Cavan.

However, Declan O’Sullivan may take Stephen O’Brien’s place after he replaced the Kenmare man after suffered a quad problem in the first half in Croke Park.

Darran O’Sullivan has once again been selected on the bench and while he failed a late fitness test with a hamstring strain ruled him out the last day he is expected to be an option in the Gaelic Grounds. His last starting SFC appearance came against Clare in June’s Munster semi-final.

Mayo may name a side today but like Kerry there will be question marks regarding its accuracy. Although both teams have had to release teams midweek for tomorrow’s match programme, it may not be until today that they are in a position to ascertain the fitness of their players.

Alan Freeman may see his spot in the full-forward line come under pressure from captain Andy Moran who scored two points coming on as a second half substitute five days’ ago.

Tom Parsons may also begin instead of Jason Gibbons, whom he replaced at half-time in Croke Park.

KERRY (SFC v Mayo): B Kelly (Legion); M Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), A O’Mahony (Rathmore), S Enright (Tarbert); P Murphy (Rathmore), P Crowley (Laune Rangers), F Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes); A Maher (Duagh), D Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys); M Geaney (Dingle), J Buckley (Dr Crokes), D Walsh (Cromane); S O’Brien (Kenmare), P Geaney (Dingle); J O’Donoghue (Legion).

Subs: B Kealy (Kilcummin), Declan O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), K Young (Renard), B Sheehan (St Mary’s), Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh-Glencar), BJ Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys), K Donaghy (Austin Stacks), K O’Leary (Dr Crokes), J Lyne (Legion), M Griffin (St Michael’s/Foilmore), P Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar).

Mayo seek match venue practice

Mayo have requested access to the Gaelic Grounds pitch this evening ahead of tomorrow’s All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry.

They have asked if their freetakers and goalkeepers can practice on the surface. It is understood Kerry have not asked for similar privileges.

The news comes as concerns have been expressed in Mayo that Kerry have an advantage in the game being held at the Ennis Road venue as they are more familiar with it. The Irish Examiner has also learned Mayo representatives were in the Gaelic Grounds last Monday to measure the dimensions of the pitch. It’s clear Mayo are leaving no stone unturned in their attempt to reach a third consecutive final and the panel will stay in the locality tonight.

After last Sunday’s draw in Croke Park, they stayed in the Regency Hotel where they watched a video of the game and completed a recovery session.

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