O'Keeffe stars as Lilies book final date
Kildare 2-9 Mayo 0-6
A RESOLUTE Kildare side weathered a strong period of dominance from Mayo in the first half to book their place in the All-Ireland final.
Kildare used the advantage of strong gales in the opening quarter to full effect and with 10 minutes played had accumulated three points without reply.
Things got better for the Lilywhites just before the midway stage after Kelvan McNally breached Mayo's rearguard and steered the ball into Shane Strogen's net.
Mayo, however, regrouped and four points from Liam Irwin (0-3) and Robert Fadden put a kick of a ball between the teams at the break.
Both sides traded early points in the second half, but Kildare got back on top in the 46th minute when Emmet O'Keefe hit their second goal of the afternoon.
Initially, referee Fergal Kelly thought O'Keeffe had been inside the square when he got the vital touch, but, after consulting with his umpires, he awarded the goal.
The Connacht side tried to launch a comeback, but three further points from Kildare secured a final showdown with Cork.
SCORERS -- Kildare: E O'Keeffe 1-1, W Fitzpatrick 0-4 (4f), K McNally 1-0, G Savage, N Flynn (1f) 0-2 each. Mayo: L Irwin 0-5 (4f), R Fadden 0-1.
KILDARE -- D Byrne; J Kennedy, T O'Connell, E Dempsey; C O'Donoghue, B Nolan, E Farrelly; A Bannon Whelan, G Savage; R Casey, W Fitzpatrick, K McNally; N Flynn, E O'Keeffe, C Jennings. Subs: D Conor for E Farrelly (h-t), D Hannon for McNally (55), L McCabe for Flynn (56), R Maguire for Dempsey (58).
MAYO -- S Strogen; J Murphy, N McLoughlin, S Staunton; D Carey, J Geraghty, J Healy; P Holmes, R Fadden; S Cox, F McNamara, D O'Connor; D Keane, L Irwin, K Carey. Subs: D Flannery for Fadden (h-t, inj), C Finnerty for McNamara (40), D Langan for Keane (53), B Rowland for Curley (57).
REF -- F Kelly (Longford).