Kerry manager John Meyler sensationally resigned his post after the Christy Ring champions crashed out of the competition with defeat to Kildare in Newbridge on Saturday (2-21 to 1-16).
Meyler, in his third spell as Kingdom boss, said he had given the role “100%” but admitted: “What I wanted and what I got is not enough for me.”
Kerry struggled to match their 2011 form and were fortunate to maintain their Allianz League Division 2A status after losing their first two games.
Saturday’s defeat, in the wake of an away loss to Wicklow, ended their Christy Ring title defence and Meyler’s time at the helm.
Meyler said: “I felt we were flat. That’s our eighth away Christy Ring Cup game in ten that I have been involved in. So it’s too long and too hard and that’s not making excuses. Perhaps the hunger was not there.
“I don’t know. I have to accept responsibility for that and I am doing that. I have given the best part of three years to it and that’s it. I have given it 100% and have no more to give. I have done my time – I can’t get anymore out of them.” He added: “What I want and what I got is not enough for me.”
Meyler felt Kerry needed a new challenge to bring them up another rung on the hurling ladder.
He explained: “I was hoping to drive it on but it was not to be. I felt we needed a new impetus. At the end of last year I felt that we should have gone into the Munster Championship. It would have given us a new impetus – it would have given us a lift. I always wanted to play in Munster Championship and win a Munster Championship match and that is no disrespect to anyone.”
An emotional Meyler called for a review of hurling in Kingdom: “The structure is not there and it’s difficult geographically. Clubs are playing in other counties like in Leinster and there is a buzz about. That is not there in Kerry and it bothers me.
On the field, Mark Moloney scored 2-3 from midfield for the hosts while Martin Fitzgerald contributed six points just a day after his grandfather’s funeral.
Former Tipperary hurler Johnny Enright also played an influential role when withdrawn to a deeper role in the second-half.
Ex-Kilkenny player, Willie O’Dwyer led the Kerry charge with four points from play and Shane Brick was unerring from placed balls, racking up 1-8. But there was no denying Kildare, who will now play Meath in the quarter-final in a repeat of the Allianz Hurling League Division 2B final, which Kildare won.
Scorers for Kildare: M Moloney 2-3; M Fitzgerald 0-6; P Divilly 0-5(3fs); C Kenny 0-2; D Butler, T Murphy, G Keegan, D Harney, J Enright (f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: S Brick 1-8(0-7fs, 1-0pe); W O’Dwyer 0-4; M Boyle 0-2(1f); D Dineen, D O’Connell (f) 0-1 each KILDARE: P Dermody; P Reidy, , F Ó Muineacháin, J Doran; P Curtin, R Hoban, N Ó Muineacháin; M Moloney, D Butler; C Kenny, P Divilly, D Harney; J Enright, T Murphy, M Fitzgerald.
Subs: G Keegan for Harney (65); L Quinn for Fitzgerald (70).
KERRY: B Rochford; J Godley, P Costello, R Horgan; A O’Connor, J Casey, T Murnane; D Dineen, L Boyle; W O’Dwyer, M Boyle, D O’Connell; S Brick, A Boyle, S Nolan.
Subs: J Griffin for Costello (31-35); Griffin for Casey (49); P Boyle for O’Connor (56); J Fitzgerald for Godley (62); J Flaherty for Dineen (62); G O’Brien for Nolan (70).
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly).
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