Stephen Hoban's goal with 14 minutes left on the clock was the difference between these two sides in Castlebar on Sunday. Hoban got a flick on to a long ball in from Keith Higgins to direct the ball to the net to put Mayo into a three point lead which killed off the Kildare challenge. This was Higgins' second game in less than 24 hours after playing for the footballers the night before against Dublin. He put in a strong showing at midfield and capped his 70 minutes off with a huge point in the second half and the assist for Hoban's goal. Up to that point the game had been a shoot-out between both sides free takers with Kenny Feeney finishing up with 0-11 for Mayo, ten of those from placed balls and Paul Divilly hitting 0-8 for his side seven of them from frees.
Kildare looked to be the stronger side in open play, but persistent fouling allowed Feeney to keep the Mayo scoreboard ticking over and they went in leading by 0-12 to 0-11 at half time. Kildare did have a chance to grab a goal of their own just after Hoban's strike but Martin Fitzgerald pulled his effort wide of the post. Kildare will go on to the final of this division having booked their place last weekend, while Mayo will be happy to have got the win following last weeks incident in London.
Mayo: D O'Brien; S Connell, D McTighe, A Brennan; S Markham, A Connolly, S Morley; K Higgins (0-1 ), D McConn; P O'Grday, C Freeman (0-2 ), K Feeney (0-11,9f, 1 65' ); D McDonnell, S Hoban (1-3 ), B Hunt (0-3 ). Subs: F Lyons for S Markham (27 mins )
Kildare: C Gallagher; N O'Muineacháin, P Keegan, J Doran; B Cahill, K Divilly, E O'Neill; D Butler (0-1 ), M Moloney (0-1 ); C Kenny, P Divilly (0-8,7f ), D Smith (0-1 ); M Fitzgerald (0-4, 1f ), T Murphy (0-2 ), L Quinn (0-1 ). Subs: R Kelly (0-1 ) for D Smith (50 mins ), P Reidy for B Cahill (57 mins ), B Deay for L Quinn (57 mins ), G Tynan for P Divilly (67 mins ), N Doolin for C Kenny (67 mins )
Ref: C Brown (Galway )