A spurt of 1-04 without reply before half-time helped Mayo to a comfortable victory over Kildare in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League in Newbridge.
The teams were level before that spurt of scores but Mayo didn’t look back after that, with Aidan O’Shea’s goal proving invaluable.
The win is Mayo’s second of the campaign and they will be confident of staying up with games against Tyrone and Donegal to come while Kildare look all but relegated.
Mayo were quickest out of the blocks and were soon 0-03 to 0-00 ahead with Cillian O’Connor and Rob Hennelly both landed frees, while Andy Moran kicked a lovely score from play as he dummied his way inside the Kildare cover before scoring from a tight angle.
Kildare eventually got on the board in the 11th minute with a Kevin Feely free and almost immediately Kevin Flynn added to the score with a curled right footed effort where Feely, Niall Kelly and Dan Flynn were all involved.
The home side then had a great chance to go in front in the 14th minute when Niall Kelly was found free in the square from a crossfield Dan Flynn pass but his left-footed drive was excellently pushed away by Hennelly.
Two consecutive points from the O’Connor brothers had the westerners into a 0-05 to 0-02 lead halfway through the half where Cillian added a free, while Diarmuid scored from play under pressure.
Kildare got a bit of a second wind between the 20th and 22nd minutes where firstly Feely added a free before Paddy Brophy curled a lovely effort between the posts, but the best was still to come as Daniel Flynn won a ball inside the Mayo rearguard and he worked his way past three defenders to find the bottom corner, despite the best efforts of Eoin O’Donoghue on the goal line, to give Cian O’Neill’s men a 1-04 to 0-05 lead.
Mayo finished the half in brilliant style, however, kicking 1-04 without reply with Cillian O’Connor adding consecutive points, while Diarmuid O’Connor and Adam Gallagher also found the target.
But the real nail in Kildare’s coffin was the brilliantly worked goal which was fisted to the net by Aidan O’Shea after Lee Keegan ran down the wing and played the ball across to the big Breaffy man to ensure last years All-Ireland finalists held a 1-09 to 1-04 half-time lead.
Kildare opened the second half fare with a Feely free but Mayo were in fine fettle at this stage and they quickly replied with points from the evergreen Andy Moran and the impressive Adam Gallagher.
That left Mayo with a 1-11 to 1-05 lead and they could have put the game to bed just four minutes into the half as Cillian O’Connor got away, but his shot was saved by Mark Donnellan before Kevin McLoughlin drilled the rebound past the post.
Fergal Conway and Niall Kelly briefly narrowed the lead to four points but that would be as close as they would get as Mayo stepped on the accelerator again.
Hennelly, O’Connor and O’Shea all got on the scoresheet for Mayo before Kildare scored again as the game all but ended as a contest.
Feely, Ben McCormack, Fionn Dowling and Kevin Flynn added late scores for Kildare but it was a day where they were outclassed all over the field with Conor Loftus, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kevin McLoughlin and Jason Doherty all putting the seal on Mayo’s second win of the campaign, while Kildare remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
MAYO: Rob Hennelly 0-2 (0-2fs); Caolan Crowe, Ger Cafferkey, Eoin O'Donoghue 0-1, Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan, Stephen Coen, Tom Parsons, Aidan O’Shea 1-1, Kevin McLoughlin 0-1, Cillian O’Connor 0-4 (0-3fs), Diarmuid O'Connor 0-2, Jason Doherty 0-1, Andy Moran 0-3, Adam Gallagher 0-2.
SUBS: Seamus O’Shea for Parsons 46 mins, Conor Loftus 0-2 (0-1f) for Gallagher 52 mins, Fergal Boland for Doherty 62 mins, David Drake for D.O’Connor 69 mins, Barry Moran for C.O’Connor 70 mins, Shane Nally for Boyle 70 mins.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mick O'Grady, Cian O'Donoghue, Eoin Doyle, Kevin Flynn 0-2, Kevin Feely 0-5 (0-4fs), Tommy Moolick, Fergal Conway 0-1, Niall Kelly 0-1, Keith Cribbin, David Slattery, Daniel Flynn 1-0, Paddy Brophy 0-1.
SUBS: Ben McCormack 0-1 for Slattery 44 mins, Johnny Byrne for Cribbin 46 mins, Paul Cribbin for Brophy 51 mins, Fionn Dowling 0-1 for Moolick 53 mins, Chris Healy for Conway 55 mins, Jimmy Hyland for K.Flynn 58 mins.
REFEREE: Martin McNally (Monaghan).