Kerry 6-27 Kildare 0-9: Kerry manager Eamon Kelly was quick to try to dampen down expectations as Kerry blitzed the team that beat them in last year’s Christy Ring Cup final to book a place in next week’s decider.

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Kerry blitz blows Kildare away

Kerry 6-27 Kildare 0-9: Kerry manager Eamon Kelly was quick to try to dampen down expectations as Kerry blitzed the team that beat them in last year’s Christy Ring Cup final to book a place in next week’s decider.

Kerry blitz blows Kildare away

Kelly, who is a Kildangan (Tipperary) clubmate of Kildare boss Brian Lawlor, agreed his charges excelled in booking a return to Croke Park but pointed to their recent poor record at GAA headquarters as sufficient cause for maintaining focus. He also made reference to the punishing schedule inflicted on Kildare due to the puzzling insistence on running the competition off by the first week of June.

“A point win would have done me,” said Kelly of the margin of victory. “We didn’t see that result coming. We got the goals at the right time and Kildare had a bad day at the office. They’re not as bad as that.

“It was a very good performance. Everybody did their bit, right from Stephen Murphy up to the forwards. We only conceded two frees in the first half and scored 3-13. We hit a lot of the targets we set for ourselves but it will count for nothing if we don’t back it up next week. You get days like this. We hit a purple patch but we need to keep our feet on the ground. We’re still no further than we were this time last year.

“We have a huge task ahead of us against Derry. We were very fortunate to get a draw against them in the first round of the league.

“We lost the last two finals. It’s a huge ask again. We have to try and get that monkey off our back, get a very good performance and see how we go from there. To be fair to Kildare, this was their fifth week in a row playing and maybe they were a bit tired. They had travelled to London. This wasn’t a shadow of the Kildare team that we met last year. It was probably a bit of both. We hit a purple patch and they didn’t go well.”

Mikey Boyle struck four goals, with three of those coming in the first half and the Ballyduff man was a constant thorn in the side of the Kildare defenders, with his marker John Doran picking up an early yellow card before pulling his man down for a penalty, that was brilliantly saved by Paul Dermody.

Doran was eventually called ashore but his replacement, Mark Grace, was sent off within three minutes of his introduction after an off-the-ball incident with Boyle and there was no way back thereafter.

It was 3-13 to 0-3 at half-time and Shane Nolan, Boyle and Colum Harty added goals in the second half.

Scorers for Kerry:

M Boyle 4-1; S Nolan 1-7(5fs, 2 65s); 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.

Scorers for 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).

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