Cathal Noonan/INPHO Cillian O'Connor dispatched a second half penalty to help Mayo earn a draw against Kerry.
# Epic Comeback
O'Connor: Great fightback but first half wasn't good enough
The Mayo forward was left to lament his side’s poor first half showing.

AT THE END of the second half they couldn’t be separated on the scoreboard but after the first 35 it was all one way, as Kerry led by four and Mayo were reduced to 14 men. Cillian O’Connor was an integral part of the Mayo fightback, scoring 1-7 on the day, but he acknowledged that the first half display from his side wasn’t up to their usual standard.

“We know we have the talent and the ability. We were disappointed with how we played in the first half; we didn’t play well enough and we didn’t play well for long enough.”

While Mayo underperformed in the opening half, they were a different team after the break as players like O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea and Colm Boyle began to exert a greater influence on proceedings. O’Connor was pleased with the turnaround and by the character shown by his Mayo side.

“People weren’t happy with certain things. We are expected to perform at the highest level for 70 minutes and I’m disappointed we didn’t do it for the whole game but it was a hell of a fightback.” O’Connor said.

After storming back into contention, Mayo were almost left heartbroken once again as Kerry’s Brian Sheehan stood over a free to win the game. Despite Sheehan’s exceptional long range accuracy off the ground, O’Connor wasn’t overly worried about being pipped at the last second.

“I knew it was far enough out. Brian is a great kicker so I knew he had a chance but that is the way tight games go. You know things like that are going to happen.” O’Connor said.

Poll: Who was your man of the match from today’s Kerry vs Mayo All-Ireland semi-final?

Mayo and Kerry to do it all over again after epic draw