Sport | 2 months ago
Stephen Rochford had everyone saying the same thing at half-time
He has thrown a massive curve-ball

Horses for courses.

Mayo began like a steam-train, with a few explosive curve-balls evidently confusing Kerry in the opening minutes of this All-Ireland semi-final clash in Croke Park.

There were murmurings from the Mayo camp during the week that their not so gentle giant Aidan O'Shea would be moved back to full back to ruffle up Kerry colossal Kieran Donaghy.

The murmurings proved true as the full forward position on the Hill 16 end of Croke Park resembled the twin towers with the two big basketballs going shoulder to shoulder.

It was all going so well for Rochford's boys in the first few minutes with Andy Moran backing up a coolly finished goal with a fine point from play.

Kerry soon responded, though, with the dynamic Donaghy to the forefront of their revival, setting up a Stephen O'Brien goal after the Breaffy man lost track of him for a crucial split second.

Aidan O'Shea wasn't as tight on the Austin Stacks club man as he needs to be, and left many agreeing that you don't become a full back over night.

Kerry's ascendancy continued with James Donoghue notching a blockbuster white flag, but Andy Moran responded.

In the 22nd minute of the game, it all changed when half back Colm Boyle showed the composure that a defender simply shouldn't dream of having.

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The Croke Park crowd were in raptures at this stage as the men of the west treated their loyal following to some serious hounding of their opponents, which was none-more so encapsulated than a mammoth O'Shea catch over the head of the 34-year-old star.

O'Shea charged down the field like a man possessed and won a free to kickstart a Mayo attack.

All told, the first half really was tit-for-tat as the sides went in went into the break level on a scoreline of 1-08 to 2-05.

Peter Crowley took the mantle off Donaghy in trying to ruffle O'Shea's feathers.

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A lot of people were claiming that Stephen Rochford has over thunk things with his positioning of O'Shea.

While you're here, check out the latest episode of #SportsJOElive where we had Irish legends Shay Given and Clinton Morrison in the studio!


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kerry gaa, Mayo GAA