It was billed as the main event on the opening weekend of the Super 8s. A true heavyweight clash involving two of Gaelic football’s greatest sides.
What transpired was far from the classic many had anticipated as Kerry completely overrun a tired Mayo outfit en route to a ten-point win.
Lee Keegan got Mayo off to the most perfect of starts pointing inside the first minute but Kerry responded with four points in four minutes to signal a statement of intent.
David Clifford and Paul Geaney began to cause problems up front with Clifford scoring his third point on 21 minutes to move Kerry into a five-point lead.
It could have been worse if Geaney managed to connect with a sublime eye of the needle pass from Clifford in a moment that was worth the entrance fee alone.
David Moran bossed proceedings at midfield and was the launchpad for multiple Kerry attacks. Moran put Kerry six ahead before two from the ever-impressive Stephen O’Brien and a Clifford free put Kerry into an unassailable 10-point lead as the game ticked towards the short whistle. Cillian O’Connor pointed from a free to leave nine points between the side at the break.
Despite trailing by so many it was always difficult to write Mayo off at half-time given that this team has produced so many epic moments down through the years. However, today would not be a memorable one for James Horan’s side.
Kerry continued their dismantling of Mayo in the second half.
Clifford continued to leave the Killarney crowd in awe with some beautiful scores while Sean O’Shea was his consistent self from placed balls. Both of Kerry’s young guns would finish the game with 0-7 to their names.
Mayo tried desperately to claw their way back into the game through O’Connor and Darren Coen but Kerry kept the scoreboard ticking over before Stephen O’Brien put the ball on a plate for Geaney to palm to the net and kill the game as a contest.
Mayo had a chance to reduce the gap to four late in the match from the penalty spot but Shane Ryan produced an excellent save from Cillian O’Connor.
It was to be Kerry’s day but it’s not over for Mayo just yet. They meet Meath in Croke Park next weekend which could set-up a potential winner takes all clash with Donegal in Castlebar in the final round.
For Kerry, today’s win puts them at the forefront of people’s minds when the great debate rages on as to who exactly can take on Dublin.