In a niggly affair in front of 8,123 in Fitzgerald Stadium, Mayo effectively ended this 2014 All-Ireland semi-final reunion in the 52nd minute when Kevin McLoughlin found a top corner of the net. The Kerry defence were virtually stationary as Mayo cultivated the chance from a short free, which wasn't exactly taken with haste.
Tommy Walsh made his first Kerry appearance since the 2009 final as a half-time substitute for Bryan Sheehan. Despite claiming a couple of kick-outs, he ended the game on the sideline after picking up a leg injury.
The first half, after which Mayo led 1-7 to 0-4, was marred by a sickening fifth-minute collision between Evan Regan and Johnny Buckley as they battled for possession with Buckley's team-mate Mark Griffin.
Regan tumbled in the air as a result and landed on his neck. He left the field seven minutes later after extended medical attention having suffered suspected concussion.
The sides were level at one point a piece and while Kerry added a brace shortly afterwards Mayo took over matters from the 22nd minute. The home team managed just a single score as Mayo shot 1-3 without replay and then added another three points towards the end of the half.
The goal came from Alan Freeman in the 24th minute, the full-forward running hard down the end-line and beating Mark Griffin to slide a great finish past Brendan Kealy.
Struggling on their own kick-outs, Kerry were punished in quick succession on a couple of occasions having just conceded scores. Mayo were also showing more aggression and were quicker moving the ball forward as Kerry struggled with a route one option to Paul Geaney.
Four yellow cards were dished out by referee Maurice Deegan in the 31st minute in a game that threatened to spill over on occasions.
Scorers for Kerry: BJ Keane (0-4, 1 free); P Geaney, D Moran (1 45, 1 free) (0-2 each); K O'Leary, M Geaney (0-1 each).
Scorers for Mayo: M Conroy (0-4); J A Freeman, K McLoughlin (1-0 each); J Doherty (0-3, 2 frees); E Regan, D Vaughan, S O'Shea, D O'Connor (0-1 each).
KERRY: B Kealy; M Griffin, P Kilkenny, F Fitzgerald; J Lyne, J Sherwood, P Murphy; D Moran, B Sheehan; M Geaney, K O'Leary, J Buckley; S O'Brien, P Geaney, BJ Keane.
Subs for Kerry: T Walsh for B Sheehan (h-t); Philip O'Connor for K O'Leary (48); J McGuire for J Lune (blood, 54-56); C Keane for BJ Keane (57); J McGuire for P Geaney (61); D Casey for S O'Brien (65); A Fitzgerald for T Walsh (inj 68).
MAYO: R Hennelly; S Coen, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Barrett, P Durcan; S O'Shea, D Vaughan; K McLoughlin, A Gallagher, J Doherty; E Regan, M Ronaldson, A Freeman.
Subs for Mayo: M Conroy for E Regan (inj 11); D O'Connor for A Gallagher (44); A O'Shea for A Freeman (48); M Sweeney for M Conroy (58); C Boyle for C Barrett (58); E Varley for M Ronaldson (61); B Moran for S O'Shea (69).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois)