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Relentless Kingdom delighted to take points away to Rebels

KERRY have one foot in the semi-finals after beating their rivals Cork 0-13 to 0-11 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Cork's first-half performance lacked energy and cohesion while Kerry were focused and inventive, driving forward relentlessly against the wind and building up a six-point lead by half-time, 0-8 to 0-2.

Cork's only first-half scores came from a pointed free by Donncha O'Connor in the third minute and their opening point from open play off Aidan Walsh's boot in the 34th minute.

"It was an absolutely crazy first half. You wouldn't win any game playing the way we did in the first half," said Cork boss Con Counihan. "It just wasn't good enough -- the lads know that themselves. There was a bit of a response in the second half but you have to play for the full 70 minutes at this level or you don't get a result.

Cork trailed by 0-9 to 0-3 after 40 minutes before they finally succeeded in raising the tempo, scoring three points in three minutes to raise hopes of a revival. However, Kerry responded with three points and remained a safe distance ahead for most of the second half.

"Not many teams come here and win so we're very pleased to have taken the points. We're going nicely and are where we want to be," said Kerry's Darran O'Sullivan.

LAOIS' 1-15 to 1-10 victory over Armagh was marred by a controversial red card for Armagh centre-back Ciaran McKeever, with Armagh players, management and supporters confronting referee Michael Duffy at the final whistle in O'Moore Park. McKeever was shown a straight red card before play had resumed for the second half, reportedly for an incident that happened in the tunnel at half-time.

Laois led 0-7 to 0-3 at the break and took advantage of their extra man to open up an eight-point lead, 0-12 to 0-4. Armagh launched a spirited comeback, with a goal from Caolan Rafferty helping them whittle the lead down to two points with 10 minutes to go. But a goal from Paul Cahillane secured a second win of the campaign for Laois.

DESPITE losing Rory Kavanagh to a straight red card on the stroke of half-time, Donegal had far too much desire in a 0-17 to 1-7 win over Mayo in Ballyshannon.

Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden were back in scoring form, with McFadden accurate from frees and Murphy causing havoc at full-forward. Mayo shot into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after 16 minutes but an inspirational point from Murphy got Donegal going on 22 minutes and once Patrick McBrearty put them in front on 44 minutes they never looked back.