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Mayo, runners-up in the 2017 and 2016 All-Ireland Football Championships, have been dumped out of this year's Sam Maguire by Kildare, who won out 0-21 to 0-19 in Newbridge at St Conleth's Park, in their third round qualifier clash.
The Thoroughbred County came into the tie as the underdogs, and under a cloud of controversy, having refused to move the third round qualifier clash from their home ground to GAA HQ at Croke Park, refusing to bow to pressure from the top brass. However, the decision proved to be inspired as the Lilywhites caused the biggest shock to date of the championship summer.
Aidan O'Shea saw red late on for Mayo as the temperature of the tie was raised to fever pitch and Aidan Moran put a free over the bar, via a deflection from the crowd of defenders blocking the effort with their lives, as the visitors' final chance to level the tie at the death went a begging, as eight minutes of stoppage time failed to produce the score that Mayo needed.
Cian O'Neill's Kildare racked up an early 0-07 to 0-02 lead, but Mayo worked their way back into the tie steadily over that first 35-minute period, with Cillian O'Connor racking up four scores from frees, as Kildare then began to struggle, going 14-minutes without scoring in a period before the break, as the teams went into the interval level at 0-09 apiece.
Along with O'Shea's departure with a red card, Mayo also lost Kevin McLoughlin to a black card, as Kildare pulled clear in the final seven minutes or so of normal time.
The difference on the scoreboard at the close of the tie was largely due to the contribution of two Lilywhites: Neil Flynn hitting eight scores - six of them frees, and Paul Cribbin hitting four, in addition to vital late scores from replacements Niall Kelly and Eamonn Callaghan, as Kildare recorded their most seismic win in quite some time.
All the action from a brilliant contest between @KildareGAA and @MayoGAA as Kildare win in a epic contest in Newbridge. #GAA #GAAClips pic.twitter.com/4kjHhiUqA9
— eir Sport (@eirSport) June 30, 2018
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Image: Inpho/Tommy Dickson
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