Kerry 0-17 Mayo 1-19
Kerry were outplayed in Killarney by Mayo who were deserving winners in the first game of Group 1 in the Sam Maguire All Ireland Championship.
Mayo made a strong start with three early goal chances saved by Diarmuid O’Connor and the Kerry goalkeeper Shane Ryan.
The visitors went two points up after 7½ minutes thanks to Ryan O’Donoghue and Aidan O’Shea.
Kerry’s first score came when Paul Geaney pointed from play after some good defending 9 minutes into the first half.
Mayo went two points up when Aidan O’Shea scored his second but some good play from Kerry was rewarded with a score from Tom O’Sullivan and then from David Clifford.
Just when Kerry were starting to get a grip, Mayo moved ahead again with three unanswered points from Padraig O Hora, James Carr and Ryan O’Donoghue.
It was Kerry 0-03 Mayo 0-06 after 20 minutes and there was no line on the pitch where you could say that Mayo were under pressure.
Aidan O’Shea’s third point, his second from a free, extended Mayo’s lead to four points just before two quick points for Kerry – Sean O’Shea and David Clifford frees – brought the Kingdom within touching distance after 26 minutes.
James Carr’s second point while Kerry were marking space reopened a three point lead for Mayo which was quickly cancelled out by Darragh Moynihan.
David Clifford put the All Ireland champions within a point of Mayo when he scored his third point.
That didn’t last long because Ryan O’Donoghue, who was unmarked with no Kerry player within 20 metres of him restored Mayo’s two point lead with 4 minutes to go in the first half.
Mayo were tearing the Kerry midfield asunder with Shane Ryan keeping the Kingdom in tact with a great save just as the first of three minutes of added time began.
Ryan O’Donoghue’s two points and another from James Carr contributed to bringing the Mayo tally to 0-12 at the break.
Half time – Kerry 0-07 Mayo 0-12
Mayo started the second half in the manner they ended the first, on top and attacking. After a wide from James Carr, Matthew Ruane increase Mayo’s lead to six points.
A couple of substitions on the Kerry team with Paul Murphy and Adrian Spillane coming in for Dylan Casey and Tony Brosnan.
More urgency was required from Kerry and despite a David Clifford point from a free, Mayo restored their six point lead thanks to Jason Doherty with a point response from Paul Geaney.
42 minutes into the game it was Kerry 0-09 Mayo 0-14.
The Mayo goalie made two great saves from David Clifford to keep Mayo ahead, one save went out for a 45’ which was pointed by Sean O’Shea to bring Kerry to double-figures after 48 minutes.
As soon as Shane Ryan made his fourth goal stopping save of the game from a Diarmuid O’Connor shot, Kerry went back up the field and David Clifford found the target for another point to leave 3 between the sides.
Jack Carney and Paul Geaney exchanged points before a free for Mayo after a high tackle saw Ryan O’Donoghue put Kerry four points up.
The goal that was always coming finally arrived for Mayo when substitute Eoin McLoughlin buried the ball to Shane Ryan’s net after 58 minutes putting them six points in front.
Two points from David Clifford kept Kerry in touch with 6 minutes to go.
They lost touch again though when Paddy Durkan ran 45 metres, unchallenged to finish with a fisted point for Mayo and then Matthew Ruane kicked another point for the visitors a minute later.
Late points from Sean O’Shea and Tom O’Sullivan for Kerry and then Jordan Flynn for Mayo were the last acts of the game with the visitors taking the two points to top the Group 1 table.
Kerry 0-17 Mayo 1-19
Kerry manager Jack O'Connor
Mayo manager Kevin McStay
Mayo coach Stephen Rochford