Mayo picked up their first points of this years National Football League thanks to a second half fight back that saw them overturn a four point deficit at the break to run out two point winners at the end on a bitterly cold night in Tralee.
Cillian O'Connor did most of the scoring damage for Mayo contributing nine points over the 70 minutes, but they were spearheaded in attack by Andy Moran who contributed three points from play and was a constant threat throughout the contest.
In the first half in particular when Mayo were struggling for long periods of the game to gain a foothold, the Ballaghadeereen man's constant running and offering himself as an option gave Mayo a well needed out ball.
Jason Doherty fights to hold on to the ball. Photo: Sportsfile
Mayo didn’t lead the match until the 64th minute when Moran was fed in by Diarmuid O’Connor and he put over his third point of the game, that was quickly followed up by Cillian’s last point from a free to edge Mayo over the line on on a score of 0-15 to 1-10.
Both sides ended the day with 14 men with Tom Parsons being shown a red card deep into injury time after a scuffle involving a number of players broke out under the stand, while Kerry were reduced to 14 six minutes from time after Jason Foley was black carded and the Kingdom had no subs left to replace him.
Kerry hit the ground running early with Jack Savage, Jack Barry and Paul Geaney (2 ) all putting over points and led 0-4 to 0-2 after 12 minutes with gone on the stop watch, with Parsons and O'Connor responding for Mayo.
Seeing red: Tom Parsons gets his marching orders. Photo: Sportsfile
The hosts were awarded a penalty when Adrian Spillane was pulled back after he collected a ball that had broken in the danger area, but David Clarke was up to the task and he dived to his right to save the resulting spot kick from David Moran to a roar of approval from the large Mayo travelling crowd that had made the trip.
Kerry could have bagged a couple of goals, before Barry John Keane who replaced the injured Gaeney found the back of the net on the half hour mark, that score put Kerry into a 1-7 to 0-4 lead.
Mayo took advantage of Kerry's lack of composure on front of goal and two pointed frees from O'Connor cut the gap back to just four points at the interval.
The second half opened well for Mayo and Conor O'Shea really should have found the back of the net just after the restart, but he put his close range effort over the bar. But Mayo kept up the pressure with Andy Moran, Kevin McLoughlin and three O'Connor frees helping them to level up the game with 53 minutes gone on the stop watch. Jason Doherty did have a goal chance that was blocked by Ronan Shanahan with 15 minutes to go.
The hosts edged themselves back in front and through a Conor Gaeney score not long after, but Mayo dug deep as O'Connor with two frees and Moran with his third point was enough for Mayo to pick up the two vital points and send them home in good stead ahead of their next encounter with Roscommon in two weeks time.
Kerry: Barry John Keane (1-3 ), Jack Barry (0-2 ), Paul Geaney (0-2, 2f ), Paul Murphy (0-1 ), Jack Savage (0-1 ), Conor Geaney (0-1 ).
Mayo: Cillian O'Connor 0-9 (9f ), Andy Moran (0-3 ), Kevin McLoughlin (0-1 ), Tom Parsons (0-1 ), Conor O'Shea (0-1 )
Kerry: Brian Kelly, Ronan Shanahan, Mark Griffin, Killian Young, Jonathan Lyne, Peter Crowley, Tadhg Morley, David Moran, Jack Barry, Adrian Spillane, Paul Murphy, Donnchadh Walsh, Jack Savage, Paul Geaney, Conor Keane. Subs: Barry John Keane for P Geaney (inj, 19 mins ), Tom O’Sullivan for K Young (inj, 28 ), Conor Geaney for C Keane (48 ), Michael Geaney for A Spillane (52 ), Jason Foley for R Shanahan (inj, 57 ), Barry O’Sullivan for J Lyne (B/C, 60 ), Jason Foley (B/C, 67 not replaced )
Mayo: David Clarke, Donie Newcombe, Keith Higgins, Paddy Durcan, Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, David Drake, Donal Vaughan, Tom Parsons, Fergal Boland, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Andy Moran, Conor O'Shea, Cillian O’Connor. Subs: Eoin O'Donoghue for D Drake (24 mins ), Diarmuid O'Connor for F Boland (46 ), Shane Nally for D Vaughan (51 ), Evan Regan for J Doherty (59 ), Michael Plunkett for E Regan (69 ), Danny Kirby for C O'Shea (70 )
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh )