A tough encounter in Tralee between Kerry and Mayo went the home side's way this evening, but only just. Photo: Sportsfile

Mayo's unbeaten league run comes to an end in Tralee

Mayo's unbeaten run in Division 1 of the Allianz National Football League came to an end this evening as they were beaten 1-12 to 0-14 by Kerry in a wet and windy Austin Stack Park, Tralee.

As the scoreline suggests, there was little between the sides all through and the game was level in injury time until David Clifford converted a late free to settle matters in the home side's favour, maintaining Kerry's unbeaten run and as good as ensuring them of a place in the league final.

The critical score of the game came on 21 minutes, however, as Tony Brosnane finished off an intricate passing move with a rasping shot past Mayo goalkeeper Robbie Hennelly.

When Clifford followed up with a point, it gave Kerry their biggest lead of the game at five points – 1-5 to 0-3.

Credit to Mayo, they had the gap down to three at half-time (1-6 to 0-6) and had created two good goal chances of their own in that first half, Aiden Orme driving a low shot narrowly wide just after Brosnane's goal and, late in the half, Shane Murphy saving an effort by Diarmuid O'Connor.

Ryan O'Donoghue (two), Fergal Boland (two), Matthew Ruane and Hennelly (45') were Mayo's scorers in the first half, and O'Donoghue was to the fore in the second half, scoring five of his team's eight points, four of them frees and one a mark.

It was a tough, physical game that came to life after the turnaround, the first half somehow strangely lacking in electricity. Perhaps the horrible weather had something to do with it.

The second half, with the conditions slightly better, was definitely a step up in quality and Mayo were right in the contest until the bitter end, but Clifford's late free settled the game in Kerry's favour.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly (0-1); Padraig O’Hora, Lee Keegan, Michael Plunkett; Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen, Oisín Mullin; Jordan Flynn, Matthew Ruane (0-2); Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea, Jack Carney; Fergal Boland (0-3), Aiden Orme (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-7).

Subs used: Enda Hession, Kevin McLoughlin, Conor Loftus, Frank Irwin.

Kerry: Shane Murphy; Dylan Casey, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; Graham O’Sullivan, Tadhg Morley, Brian Ó Beaglaíoch; Diarmuid O’Connor, Jack Barry (0-1); Dara Moynihan (0-1), Jack Savage (0-2), Adrian Spillane; Paudie Clifford, David Clifford (0-7), Tony Brosnane (1-1).

Subs used: Stephen O'Brien, Killian Spillane, Gavin Crowley, Greg Horan (temp), Micheál Burns, Pa Warren.

*See Tuesday's print edition for a full report on the game