It will be an all Connacht All-Ireland Minor football championship final after Mayo saw off Kerry by two points in O'Connor Park in Tullamore to set up a third championship meeting with Galway this year, with Mayo having won the previous two meetings.
The Connacht champions held on despite missing a number of point-scoring chances late on to see the game out - with goalkeeper David Dolan’s save from Paddy Lane midway through the second half proving crucial in keeping their noses in front down the home straight.
Mayo were leading by a two at the break, despite Kerry dominating the ball for large periods of the opening half, but the Kingdom’s shooting let them down in hitting a number of poor wides when they were on top in the game.
Mayo opened the scoring three minutes in through a Cathal Keaveney pointed a free, but Kerry responded with the next three scores on the spin through Darragh O'Connor, Cormac Dillon and Donagh O’Sullivan to open a two-point lead.
Mayo netted the first goal of the game through their ace marksman Ronan Clarke, who fielded a ball that looked to be going wide before working his way along the end line and and finishing low to the net.
Kerry hit back with three more scores on the spin through Odhran Ferris, Dillon and the impressive Paddy Lane to go back in front by two again - but they were reduced to 14 players after Donagh O’Sullivan was shown a black card.
Mayo then took over with Ronan Clarke pointing two frees on the spin and Dara Hurley, Jack Keane and James Maheady all raising the white flag to send Mayo in leading 1-05 to 0-06 at the short whistle.
Clarke pushed the gap out to three points with a free early in the second half and eight minutes in David Dolan had to pull off an excellent save from Paddy Lane after the Kerry player was played clean through on goal. Darragh O’Connor kicked a point not long after to keep Kerry in touch but two points in quick succession from Keaveney and Clarke pushed Mayo four clear on the three quarter mark.
Donagh O’Sullivan cut the gap back to three with ten minutes to go and not long after Dara Hurley forced Shay O’Meara into a great save to keep his side in the game. Paddy Lane cut it back to just two points two minutes into injury time - but Mayo held on to book their place in the final.
Mayo: David Dolan; Rio Mortimer, John MacMonagle, Lorcan Slike; Liam Maloney, Colm McHale, Paul Gilmore; Jack Keane (0-01), Luke Feeney; James Maheady, Dara Hurley (0-01), Diarmuid Duffy; Cathal Keaveney (0-02, 1f), Ronan Clarke (1-03, 3f), Neill Hurley. Subs: Oliver Armstrong for Keane, Zac Collins for Maheady, Sean O’Dowd for Gilmore, Oisín Cronin for Dara Hurley, Adam Boukioud for McHale.
Kerry: Shay O’Meara; Maidhcí Lynch, Liam Evans, Darragh O’Connor (0-01); Eddie Healy, Colm Browne, Fionn Murphy; Jack O’Sullivan, Evan Boyle; Niall Collins, Cormac Dillon (0-02, 1f), Jack Clifford; Paddy Lane (0-02, 1f), Donagh O’Sullivan (0-02), Odhran Ferris (0-01). Subs: Darragh O’Connor (0-01) for Collins, Ian O’Sullivan for Boyle, John Burke for Ferris, Ruarí Burke for O’Connor, Tomás Ashe for Clifford
Ref: Seamus Mulhare (Laois)