Mayo may have lost this Ladies Football All Ireland Senior Football Championship group encounter with Dublin - but there are still plenty of positives for them to take from it as the knock-out stages of the competition approach in the near future.
The greasy conditions had the potential to make life difficult for both sides in Hyde Park on Saturday - but both stuck to their game plan from the off with Mayo trying to run the ball from deep with Kathryn Sullivan particularly effective in breaking through the cover early on.
Dublin struck first on the scoreboard with Noelle Healy splitting the posts inside the opening minute.
Mayo responded through a good Sarah Rowe score not long after following a lung bursting run from Sullivan down the right flank.
Dublin hit the next two points on the spin through a brace from Sinead Aherne before the fifth minute had elapsed.
Mayo stuck to their task and Rowe hit her second point from a very tight angle adder some strong running by Niamh Kelly to create the opening and a minute later the aforementioned Kelly drew Mayo level after some great work by Sullivan and her sister Grace.
Dublin edged themselves two points back in front by the 12 minute mark through a Aherne free and a Nicola Owns point.
Rowe pulled one back for Mayo 17 minutes in from a close range free to leave the metropolitans in the lead on a score of 0-5 to 0-4.
Six minutes from the break Dublin raised the first green flag of the day in fortuitous circumstances, Aherne cut down the left wing and hammered a shot goal wards that was saved well by Sorcha Murphy in the Mayo goal.
The rebound sprung across the face of the goal and Niamh McEvoy and Clodagh McManamon battled for it with the Burrishoole goal unlucky to see the ball come off her leg and into the back of the Mayo net.
That was the final score of the half and sent Dublin in leading by four at the short-whistle.
Mayo went for it right from the restart with Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly both putting over fine scores inside the opening minute, but Mayo were what looked like a killer blow not long after.
Dublin worked the ball well down the field and it ended up with Noelle Healy who shot under pressure for goal, her effort flew to the top corner of the net and put Dublin 2-5 into 0-7 lead.
Mayo didn't wilt though and Grace Kelly tapped over a close range free after Rachel Kearns was fouled and six minutes in they hit the back of the net themselves.
Sarah Rowe hoisted an effort goal wards that dropped short, Fiona Doherty chased after it and when Ciara Trant palmed the ball up in the air the Moy Davitts attacker was there to flick it to an empty net to leave just one between the teams.
Mayo survived conceding a third goal when a Dublin effort was ruled out for a square ball and nine minutes into the second half Grace Kelly levelled it up from a free.
Dublin pushed themselves back in front through a Sinead Goldrick point after 43 minutes and then within two minutes both sides were reduced to 14 for ten minutes with Niamh Collins and Sarah Rowe both being shown yellow cards with in a minute of each other.
Dublin pushed themselves further clear through a Lyndsey Davey point just after the three quarters mark and from the very next play Dublin hit the decisive score when Nicole Owens dropping shot was misjudged by Murphy in the Mayo goal and the ball ended up in the back of the net to push Dublin into a six point lead on a score of 3-8 to 1-8.
Mayo’s chances were dealt a further blow when Rachel Kearns followed Rowe into the sin bin not long after leaving Mayo with just 13 players for a period.
Dublin tagged on a handful more points over the next few minutes to stretch their lead out to eight and make sure they were going to top the table at the end of the group stages.
All is not lost for Mayo as they will still go into the quarter finals of the competition in a few weeks time and they will take plenty from this game having stuck with the All Ireland champions for the majority of the contest and were right in it until they struck their third goal.
Mayo: S Rowe (0-4, 1f ), F Doherty (1-0 ), G Kelly (0-3, 2f ), N Kelly (0-1 )
Dublin: N Healy (1-2 ), S Aherne (0-5, 3f ), N Owens (1-1 ), L Davey (0-2 ), S Goldrick (0-1 ), C McManamon (1-0 OG )
Mayo: S Murphy; E Lowther, R O’Malley, D Caldwell; R Kearns, C McManamon, K Sullivan; N Moran, T O’Connor; S Mulvhill, F Doherty, S Cafferkey; N Kelly, S Rowe, G Kelly. Subs: R Flynn, E Needham, S Ludden, F McManamon, L Ryder
Dublin: C Trant; M Byrne, D Murphy, L Cahill; S Goldrick, N Collins, O Carey; S McGrath, L Magee; L Davey, N McEvoy, C Rowe; N Owens, N Healy, S Aherne. Subs: J Dunne, O Whyte, H O’Neill, L Collins, A Keane