Champions Dr Crokes issued a statement of intent when cruising past St Kieran’s outfit in this Kerry SFC R2 clash at a rain-lashed Austin Stack Park on Saturday.
Crokes were without 2014 Kerry All-Ireland winning captain Fionn Fitzgerald while St Kieran’s were minus the services of the veteran midfielder and former Kerry star Seamus Scanlon.
Jimmy Keane’s charges gave Crokes plenty to think about in the first half, with Philip O’Connor and Eddie Horan to the fore while the divisional side dropped players back which frustrated the Killarney men’s attack.
St Kieran’s though were rocked by the loss of influential skipper Padraig Reidy through injury in the first half as he failed to recover from a heavy collision in the open exchanges.
St Kieran’s won plenty of possession but were guilty of turning over the ball time and again when in good scoring position.
In contrast, Dr Crokes -with Tony Brosnan to the fore - made the most of every scoring opportunity that came their way.
The Killarney outfit led 0-8 to 0-6 at the interval with scores from Brosnan (5) along with efforts from Daithi Casey and Kieran O’Leary, while Edmund Walsh (3), Philip O’Connor (0-2) and Eddie Horan replied for St Kieran’s.
Dr Crokes, with David Shaw outstanding throughout and Michael Potts and Michael Burns also very prominent, hit four of the first five scores of the second half to move 0-12 to 0-7 clear with 18 minutes remaining.
St Kieran’s scored just once before the final whistle with Crokes cantering to an easier than expected success but know that tougher challenges await on their title defence.
T Brosnan (0-7, 4 frees); D Shaw (0-4, 1 free ); K O’Leary (0-2), D Casey (0-1 free), S Murphy (0-1 free), M Burns and M Potts (0-1 each).
E Walsh ( 0-3, 2 frees), P O’Connor and E Horan (0- 2 each ), P Walsh ( 0-1) Teams:
S Murphy; D Naughton, M Moloney, D O’Leary; M Potts , G White, B Looney ; J Buckley, M O’Shea; M Burns , D Shaw, G O’Shea; T Brosnan, D Casey, K O’Leary.
M Casey for D Casey (38), J Griffin for G O’Shea (38), A O’Sullivan for M O’Shea (48), J Payne for Naughton (55), J Lyne for M Potts (57), B Falvey for K O’Leary (58).
S Óg Ó Ciardubháin; L Lyons, P Reidy, M Reidy; L Brosnan, E Kiely, B Leonard; S Horan, A Donoghue; P O’Connor, T Lynch, M Hickey,; E Horan, E Walsh, P Walsh.
J O’Connor for P Reidy (inj) (23mins); A Barry for T Lynch (H – T); S O’Connell for P Walsh, M Walsh for L Brosnan, Pa McCarthy for M Hickey Horan and S Brosnan for S Horan (all 55).
Peter Lyons (Cromane).