New-look Kerry breezed into the quarter-finals of this competition with a facile 24-point victory over the students of IT Tralee the preliminary round game played at the Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney yesterday afternoon.
Kerry dominated from the outset with new midfield pairing Kieran Donaghy and captain Johnny Buckley providing a plentiful supply of ball to their inside forward line of Brian Looney, Patrick Curtin and goal poacher supreme Paul Geaney, who got the bulk of the Kerry scores, against a very defensive IT outfit, who sometimes – understandably given their vaulted opposition – had 13 players behind the ball.
Kerry were boosted with goals in the sixth minute from Paul Geaney after a Darran O'Sullivan assist, while further goals from Mikey Geaney in the 27th minute – after a defence-splitting pass from the impressive Buckley – and a third maximum from Paul Geaney, after a Donaghy knockdown, saw Kerry build up a seemingly unassailable half-time advantage of 3-9 to 0-4, with Alan O'Donoghue looking the liveliest Tralee attacker.
It was all one-way traffic in the second half as Barry John Keane came off the bench to kick two points, Paul O'Connor kicked three off the bench while Paddy Curtin ran riot with 1-4 in the second period. Paul Geaney, Fionn Fitzgerald, Mikey Geaney and Curtin, of the newcomers impressed for Kerry, while Tomas O Se got a rousing welcome when introduced in the second period.
IT Tralee were reliant on Alan O'Donoghue with two frees and points from Cork's Ruairi Deane, Sean McCarthy and Shane Carroll.
However, Tralee could not match the scoring prowess of Kerry's inside line, with Looney, Curtin and Geaney kicking 3-12 of the Kingdom's total.
Scorers – Kerry: P Geaney 2-4 (1f); P Curtin 1-5; M Geaney 1-1; P O'Connor (1f); B Looney (1 '45'); J Buckley 0-3 each; BJ Keane 0-2; D O'Sullivan 0-1. Tralee: A O'Donoghue 0-3 (3f); S Carroll 0-2 (1f); B Poff, D Wallace, R Deane, S Killeen, S McCarthy 0-1 each
Kerry: B Kelly; F Fitzgerald, M Ó Sé, S Enright; J Lyne, J Sherwood, K Young; K Donaghy, J Buckley (capt); M Geaney, D O'Sullivan, M O'Donoghue; B Looney, P Curtin, P Geaney. Subs: D Culhane (Ó Sé 35); BJ Keane (O'Sullivan 35); T Ó Sé (Lyne 54); P O'Connor (P Geaney 54); A Garnett (Buckley 55)
IT Tralee: P O'Sullivan (Kerry); C Farrell (Kildare), J Scully (Wexford); S McCarthy (Kerry), G O'Grady (Cork), M Brosnan (Kerry); R Deane (Cork), D Somers (Clare); D Wallace (Kerry), I Corbett (Limerick), B Poff (Kerry); A O'Donoghue (Kerry), S Carroll (Kerry), B O'Hare (Louth). Subs: D Cahalane (Kerry, Farrell 35); D Murphy (Kerry, Wallace 49); D Mannix (Kerry, O'Hare 49); S Killeen (Galway, Somers 56); N Curran (Wicklow, Corbett 63)
Referee: K O'Brien (Tipperary)