Kelly plays down expectations after Kerry cruise
Kerry 6-27 Kildare 0-9
Manager Eamon Kelly was quick 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.
Kelly, who is a Kildangan (Tipperary) clubmate of Kildare boss Brian Lawlor, agreed that his charges excelled in booking a return to Croke Park but pointed out that their recent poor record at HQ was sufficient cause for maintaining focus.
He also made reference to the punishing schedule inflicted on Kildare due to the puzzling insistence on running this competition off by the first week of June.
"A one-point win would have done me," said Kelly. "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.
"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."
Mikey Boyle struck four goals, with three of those coming in the first half.
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 following 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 - Kerry: M Boyle 4-1, S Nolan 1-7(0-5fs, 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. 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).
Ref - S Cleere (Kilkenny)