Full-strength Déise punish Kingdom
Waterford 4-21 Kerry0-16
Waterford's big hitters returned to demolish Kerry by 17 points on Saturday. Pauric Mahony, Austin Gleeson and Michael Walsh opened up in the January sunshine at Fraher Field.
"We followed the same path as last year, relatively experimental up until today," Waterford manager Derek McGrath explained. "It wasn't out of disrespect to Kerry or otherwise, it was just part of our plan that today we would give more of the regulars some game-time."
On 11 minutes, Stephen Bennett punished a Kerry error with a three-pointer. Two more followed through Walsh and Gleeson and 3-3 without reply created an 11-point gap at half-time.
Subs Thomas Ryan and Brian O'Halloran drove it on during the second period. A trademark Walsh handpass allowed Ryan to hit the net again after 62 minutes.
McGrath revealed that goalkeeper Stephen O'Keeffe may miss the start of the NHL due to a nasty cut to his arm. "He probably won't feature in the first couple of rounds but we were going with a split decision anyway this year with the 'keepers."
Kerry manager Fintan O'Connor rued those sloppy first-half goals. The Kingdom host Laois in the opening round of the NHL next month.
"1B is so competitive, you're just fighting for points every week. We'll be scrapping to get whatever we can," he said.
Scorers - Waterford: P Mahony 0-14 (8fs, 65'), A Gleeson 1-2, T Ryan 1-1, S Bennett, M Walsh 1-0 each, B O'Halloran 0-3, C Gleeson 0-1. Kerry: S Nolan 0-7 (6fs, 65'), M Boyle, D Collins, P Boyle 0-2 each, J Egan, J Goulding, C Harty 0-1 each.
Waterford - I O'Regan; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; C Gleeson, T de Búrca, S Daniels; K Moran, M Kearney; M Walsh, A Gleeson, P Mahony; J Dillon, S Bennett, P Curran. Subs: B O'Halloran for Curran (h-t), T Ryan for Bennett (h-t), J Barron for Kearney (48), D Fives for De Búrca (51), DJ Foran for A Gleeson (59).
Kerry - A McCabe; B Murphy, P Costello, S Weir; J Griffin, D Dineen, K Carmody; J Goulding, P O'Connor; D Collins, M Boyle, J Conway; J Egan, P Boyle, S Nolan. Subs: C Harty for Egan (h-t), J O'Connor for Griffin (47), S Murphy for Conway (51), J Godley for P O'Connor (61), P Lucid for Nolan (64).
Ref - N Wall (Cork)