Back after a lengthy absence through injury, the Kilmoyley hurler, playing his first competitive inter-county game since the 2010 National League, looked sharp as he racked up 0-12, setting-up a provincial quarter-final against Cork next weekend.
Kerry raced into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead thanks to a fortuitous goal from Darragh O’Connell. But, by half-time, college team IT Tralee hit the front, 1-10 to 1-9, with Eamonn Brosnan scoring 1-5, while centre-back Mark Deegan added 0-3.
The sides were level four times in the second-half and were tied at 1-14 apiece with 10 minutes left but Kerry were in the ascendancy. With Brick (0-4) and O’Connell (0-2) finding their range, the Christy Ring Cup champions survived a scare and in the process won the county’s first ever game in the Waterford Crystal Cup.
Scorers for Kerry: S Brick 0-12 (8fs, 1 65), D O’Connell 1-4 (2fs), J Egan 0-2, M Boyle, S Nolan 0-1 each.
Scorers for IT Tralee: E Brosnan 1-5 (4fs), M Deegan 0-3 (2fs), M Lynch 0-2, T Morley, B O’Grady, F Kennedy, G O’Doherty, D O’Halloran 0-1 each.
KERRY: B Rochford; P Costello, R Horgan, J Godley; L Boyle, T Murnane, J Griffin; D Dineen, D O’Connell; S Brick, M Boyle, J Egan; PJ Connolly, A Boyle, J Flaherty.
Subs: S Nolan for PJ Connolly (ht); C Harris for J Flaherty (ht).
IT TRALEE: D Delaney; T Morley, O Gately, M Lynch; B Murphy, M Deegan, M Cleary; M Kiely, J Leahy; C Harty, B O’Grady, F Kennedy; E Brosnan, P O’Connor, G O’Doherty.
Subs: P Carey for T Morley (42), D O’Halloran for C Harty (58), J Walsh for P O’Connor (68).
Referee: Michael O’Connor (Limerick).