Ryan O'Donoghue of Mayo in action against Tom O'Sullivan of Kerry during their Allianz National Football League Division 1 match at Austin Stack Park, Tralee. Photo: Brendan Moran | Sportsfile

Last-gasp score for Kerry leaves Mayo without any points departing Tralee

Mayo were beaten for the first time in Division 1 this year as Kerry eked out a 0-16 to 0-15 victory in Tralee.

Kevin McStay's charges looked on course for a share of the spoils until David Clifford popped up with a last-gasp winner at the end of an entertaining game that had its fair share of errors on a slippery surface.

A draw for Mayo looked unlikely when they were three points in arrears and down to 14 men with just 11 minutes left to play. Sam Callinan was given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card, but his team-mates rallied in the final period and had levelled at 0-15 each before Kerry dangerman Clifford got the ball at the end of a patient move to win it late on.

Kerry were ahead by two at the break (0-7 to 0-5), but would have been disappointed with their conversion rate in that opening period.

Still, some nice points from play by the Clifford brothers and Jason Foley plus a couple of frees by Sean O'Shea saw the home side put seven on the scoreboard.

For Mayo it was very much a mixed bag going forward. Sam Callinan was the leading light from an attacking point of view, landing two fine points from play, while Fergal Boland opened the scoring very early on with a neat effort and Ryan O'Donoghue split the posts twice (one free), leaving McStay's men just two down at the break.

The danger was there in the space left in defence by Mayo. David Clifford et al weren't able to exploit it in the first half, but the worry was that they might in the second.

That didn't come to pass, but with the two Cliffords and O'Shea on song in front of the posts, aided by Dylan Geaney and Diarmuid O'Connor, they picked off some fine scores.

However, Mayo were better in attack too in that second half, playing with a greater degree of pace up front and working space for some very good scores, with a good spread of scorers too.

O'Donoghue (three, one free) led the charge, with Fergal Boland (two), Jordan Flynn, Bob Tuohy, Diarmuid O'Connor, Colm Reape (free) and substitute Darren McHale all finding the range as well.

In injury time, Rory Brickenden – who showed no ill-effects from the midweek Sigerson Cup final – had a chance to win it with an advanced mark but the angle was acute and he kicked the effort wide.

From the resultant kick-out Kerry patiently worked the chance for David Clifford, and he displayed his undoubted ability with a superb effort to win the game.

Despite the defeat, Mayo manager Kevin McStay could take a number of positives from the game, not least the work rate on display in the second half and the way they rallied when reduced to 14 men.

Kerry: Shane Ryan; Graham O'Sullivan, Jason Foley, Dylan Casey; Tom O'Sullivan, Tadhg Morley, Gavin White; Diarmuid O'Connor, Joe O'Connor; Paudie Clifford, Dylan Geaney, Cillian Burke; David Clifford, Sean O'Shea, Dara Moynihan.

Subs used: Conor Geaney for Dylan Geaney (49), Barry Dan O'Sullivan for Joe O'Connor (54), Paul Murphy for Morley (58), Adrian Spillane for Moynihan (63), Ronan Buckley for Burke (67).

Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Donnacha McHugh; Sam Callinan, Rory Brickenden, Eoghan McLaughlin; Jack Carney, Diarmuid O'Connor; Bob Tuohy, Fergal Boland, Jordan Flynn; Aidan O'Shea, Tommy Conroy, Ryan O'Donoghue.

Subs used: Enda Hession for McLaughlin (48), Darren McHale for O'Shea (48), Stephen Coen for McBrien (57), Cillian O'Connor for Tuohy (58), Ciarán Boland for Conroy (70+2).

Referee: Derek O'Mahoney (Tipperary).