Kerry 6-27 Kildare 0-9
Kerry gained their revenge in comprehensive fashion today as they inflicted a 36-point hammering on Kildare to reach the Christy Ring final.
Three first-half goals from Mikey Boyle swept the Kingdom to within 70 minutes of top-flight hurling after a shockingly one-sided semi-final at St Conleth’s Park.
Eamon Kelly’s crew led by 19 points at half time while Kildare were down to 14 men after the 26th-minute sending off of substitute Mark Grace.
Grace was only on the pitch three minutes when referee Seán Cleere gave him his marching orders after an off-the-ball altercation with Boyle.
Boyle was also fouled for a penalty that was brilliantly saved by Paul Dermody.
The corner-forward grabbed a fourth goal in the second half as the rout continued, with Kildare failing to raise a gallop.
This was a repeat of last year’s final pairing but lacked all of the intensity of that fixture. The result was different too, as Kildare won on that occasion.
From the moment Boyle took a pass off his brother, Padraig and rattled the net however, there was no doubt about who would land the spoils on this occasion.
The hosts did seem to settle into proceedings briefly and points from Declan Flaherty, Martin Fitzgerald and Mark Delaney had them trailing by just that Boyle major.
The margin had increased to seven by the time he scored his second and it was 3-13 to 0-3 at half time.
Shane Nolan, Boyle and Colum Harty added goals in the second half and only for the agility of Dermody, the margin would have been even greater.
Scorers: Kerry: S Nolan 1-7(5fs, 2 65s); M Boyle 4-1; P Boyle 0-5; M O’Leary 0-4; C Harty 1-1; J Egan, J Griffin, J O’Neill 0-2 each; K Carmody, B O’Leary, D Collins 0-1 each.
Kildare: M Fitzgerald 0-2; M Delaney (f), D Flaherty, E O’Neill, P Divilly (f), G Keegan (f), D Stapleton, N Ó Muineacháin 0-1 each.
Kerry: S Murphy, R Horgan, P Costelloe, B Murphy, D Collins, D Dineen, K Carmody, J Griffin, J Egan, M O’Leary, S Nolan, C Harty, M Boyle, P Boyle, D Butler. Subs: J O’Neill for Butler (ht); J Flaherty for O’Leary (51), S Weir for Mikey Boyle (51), B O’Leary for Egan (55), T Casey for Griffin (55)
Kildare: P Dermody, N Ó Muineacháin, F Ó Muineacháin, J Doran, D Stapleton, Moloney, É O’Neill, M Fitzgerald, P Divilly, B Deay, E Dempsey, W Green, G Keegan, D Flaherty, M Delaney. Subs: M Grace for Doran (23); L Quinn for Delaney (ht); J Byrne for Greene (ht); K Whelan for M Moloney (45); N Kenny for Divilly (63).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).