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15th Jul 2018

Mayo indebted to class Paul Lambert contribution as they reach U20 All-Ireland final

Patrick McCarry

Hope for the future.

Mayo and Kildare will contest the first ever U20 All-Ireland final after respective wins over Derry and Kerry.

Mayo fell behind, early doors, after a superb Callum Brown goal for the Oak Leaf county but St Patrick’s Westport forward Paul Lambert’s free levelled matters at 1-2 apiece.

Oisin McWilliams put Derry ahead with their second goal of the game but Mayo finished the first half strongly and led 1-7 to 2-3 at the break.

With just 20 minutes to go, the Ulster champions went 1-8 to 2-4 ahead but Lambert was about to make his most meaningful contribution in his excellent, all-round performance.

Tommy Conroy scorched the Derry defence and teed up Lambert, who kept his cool to slot the ball under Oran Hartin. That gave Mayo some breathing room but this game went down to the wire.

Conor Doherty and Brown came close to getting Derry ahead in the closing stages but it was Conroy, with two injury time points, that secured the three-point win at Carrick-in-Shannon.

In the other semi-final, Jimmy Hyland was the star for Kildare as they held off a late Kerry charge to win 1-14 to 1-13. Hyland scored 1-8 for the Lilywhites.

The crucial score arrived 47 minutes in, when Ruadhan O’Giollain intercepted a Stefan Okunbor free and passed for Hyland to find the net.

Mayo and Kildare will face off in the U20 final later this month.

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