Mayo made the long trek home from Tralee with two vital league points in the bag thanks to a hard working performance against the up to then unbeaten Kerry men.
The game was played in what was at times torrential conditions but when it mattered the most Mayo held their nerve, no more so than Matthew Ruane who slotted home the only goal of the game with three minutes of normal time left on the clock to put Mayo into a four point lead.
Kerry did manage to pull back two points during the six minutes of injury time - but Mayo were not going to let this one slip and they closed out the game in a professional manner.
Kerry played with the elements in the first half and went in leading by three at the break - but only after Mayo had started the game very brightly, with Kevin McLoughlin opening the scoring followed by a Matthew Ruane effort after a strong run and a Jason Doherty effort from out on the right.
Sean O’Shea was the main man on the scoreboard in the opening 35 minutes kicking four of Kerry’s seven points, with Kevin McCarthy chipping in with two of his own and Tommy Walsh slipping over a mark.
Sean O’Shea got their first point of the day eight minutes in from play and following that up with a free dispatched with ease just before the quarter of an hour mark.
McLoughlin put two between the teams again with a neatly taken score on 18 minutes, but from then on in Kerry took control of the action for the rest of the half.
Kevin McCarthy drove over a point on 20 minutes followed by O’Shea’s third to level the game up, then Tommy Walsh pointed a mark to put the home side in front for the first time and they added on two more scores from O’Shea and McCarthy to go in leading 0-7 to 0-4 at the half time whistle.
Jason Doherty cut the gap back to two a minute into the second half, but it took Mayo another 15 minutes before they managed to get their next score and by that stage Kerry had added on another point through sub Diarmuid O’Connor.
Fionn McDonagh pointed for Mayo after a long gap, then Doherty added two more from frees with Fergal Boland fisting over another in the middle of the Doherty frees and Mayo were now leading 0-10 to 0-9 with five minutes of normal time left with Kerry replying in that run through a brilliant Sean O’Shea free into the teeth of the gale that blew down the middle of the field all night.
Then Ruane drove home his goal and it was all about holding on for Mayo and the managed to do that despite Kerry putting them under serious pressure for the final minutes of injury time.
Kerry: Sean O’Shea (0-6, 3f, 1 45 ), Kevin McCarthy (0-2 ), Tommy Walsh (0-1, Mark ), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1 ), James O’Donoghue (0-1 )
Mayo: Jason Doherty (0-5, 4f ), Matthew Ruane (1-1 ), Kevin McLoughlin (0-2 ), Fergal Boland (0-1 ), Fionn McDonagh (0-1 )
Kerry: Brian Kelly; Peter Crowley, Tadhg Morley, Brian O’Beaglaioch; Gavin Crowley, Paul Murphy, Tom O’Sullivan; Jack Barry, Mark Griffin; Dara Moynihan, Sean O’Shea, Gavin O’Brien; Kevin McCarthy, Tommy Walsh. Stephen O’Brien. Subs: Diarmuid O’Connor for McCarthy, Tomas O’Se for Moynihan, James O’Donoghue for Walsh, Adrian Spillane for Griffin, Conor Geaney for O’Brien
Mayo: David Clarke, Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrision, Keith Higgins; Stephen Coen, Michael Plunkett, Donal Vaughan; Matthew Ruane, Aidan O’Shea; Fionn McDonagh, Conor Loftus, Diarmuid O’Connor; Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, James Durcan. Subs: Fergal Boland for Loftus, Andy Moran for Durcan, Lee Keegan for Vaughan, Colm Boyle for Plunkett, Rob Hennelly for Clarke,
Ref: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh )