Classy Kerry retain title
Kerry 2-18 Mayo 2-11
They did it in style and they did it the Kerry way, with slick, flowing football encapsulating all the traditional skills of the game.
The Kingdom retained the All-Ireland JFC title, claiming a 17th in all, with a performance that wasn't without its flaws, but one which never wavered from the county's dearly-held principles.
"We played some lovely football, really exciting football, the way we feel in Kerry is the way it should be played," said winning captain Paul O'Donoghue.
Two first-half Niall O'Shea goals illustrated the mentality of Stephen Wallace's side as they tore into Mayo at Croke Park.
But that was only after a shaky, uncertain start to a game they warmed to slowly.
Furthermore, after blitzing their opponents to go 13 points clear, they offered the Connacht men a route back into the game, which they gratefully accepted to trim back the deficit to four.
O'Shea netted in the 21st and 28th minutes to give Kerry a 2-10 to 0-4 interval lead, but goals from Michael Forde and Robert Holian rewarded Mayo's route-one approach.
Kerry steadied the ship, with David Foran, O'Donoghue, Kieran Hurley and Sean Micheal O Conchuir nailing the points that saw them safely home.
SCORERS - Kerry: N O'Shea 2-0, SM O Conchuir 0-5 (2f), K Hurley, D Foran, P O'Donoghue (1f, 1 '45) 0-3 each, A Spillane, A Barry, J Foley, D Roche 0-1 each. Mayo: M Forde 1-1, R Holian 1-0, D Coen 0-5 (4f), C Keane 0-4, J Kelly 0-1.
Kerry - Darragh O'Shea 5; F Clifford 7, J Foley 6, C O Luing 6; P Clifford 7, A Barry 7, R Wharton 6; A Spillane 8, JC O'Connor 7; B O Seahachain 5, P O'Donoghue 7 D Foran 7; N O'Shea 7, K Hurley 6, SM O Conchuir 7. Subs: K O'Sullivan 5 for Clifford (38), D Roche 7 for Hurley (46), L Bastible 5 for Foley (48), Dara O'Shea 4 (53), M O'Donnell 4 for Spillane (56), A Barry 4 for Foran (61).
Mayo - M Flanagan 8; P Feerick 6, N Freeman 7, E O'Donoghue 6; B Duffy 5, J Kelly 7, J Forkan 6; M Togher 5, P Collins 5; B Reape 5, M Forde 7, K Gibbons 6; D Coen 7, A Farrell 5, C Keane 7. Subs: S Gaughan 6 for Collins (14), R Malee 4 for Forde (h-t), R Holian 6 for Reape (h-t), S Akram 6 for O' Donoghue (34 BC), R Doherty 4 for Feerick (47), B Leonard 3 for Forde (60)
REF - S McLaughlin (Donegal).