Kerry put their recent troubles behind them yesterday when they travelled to Aughrim to pick up their first points of the campaign with a decisive win over Wicklow.
The Kingdom players did not appear to be unsettled by the row that raged in the county all week following manager John Meyler's decision to drop three of the four Boyle brothers from the team for playing in a soccer match in the middle of the team's training programme.
Wicklow led three times in the first quarter after Enan Glynn had the opening point in the first minute. Paddy Farrell drilled home an answering goal to Shane Nolan's after ten minutes, while Jonathan O'Neill pointed a free after 13 minutes to go 1-2 to 1-1 ahead.
But they lacked the crispness and skill of Kerry in their hurling throughout and in Shane Brick Kerry had a match-winner as he drilled over 10 points in total.
Wicklow remained in contention throughout the first half and were only four points adrift, 1-10 to 1-6, at the break.
However, Kerry pulled away in the second half when they turned over with the wind at their backs and Nolan added a second goal to his three points.
Wicklow's cause was not helped either by the loss of their ace free-taker Jonathan O'Neill five minutes before half-time.
Man of the Match: Shane Brick (Kerry)
Scorers -- Kerry: S Brick 0-10 (4f, 2 '65), S Nolan 2-3, J Flaherty 0-3, D Dineen 0-2, A O'Connor, C Harty, D O'Connell, PJ Connolly 0-1 each. Wicklow: P Farrell 1-0, A O'Brien 0-4f, J O'Neill 0-3 (2f), T Doyle, E Glynn 0-2 each, C Moorehouse 0-1.
Kerry -- B Rochford 7; R Horgan 7, P Costello 8, B Murphy 7; A O'Connor 6, M Lynch 7, J Griffin 6; W O'Dwyer 7, D O'Connell 7; C Harty 6, G O'Brien 6, D Dineen 7; S Brick 9, A Boyle 7, S Nolan 8. Subs: P Connolly 7 for G O'Brien, J Flaherty 8 for C Harty, J Casey 6 for M Lynch, D Wallace 6 for A O'Connor, J Fitzgerald 6 for R Horgan.
Wicklow -- J Murphy 7; J Connors 7, G Keogh 7, E Dunne 5; T Doyle 6, B Cuddihy 6, G Bermingham 8; E Kearns 6, R Keddy 6; J Connors 5, S Kelly 7, P Farrell 6; E Glynn 6, J O'Neill 7, A O'Brien 7. Subs: C Moorehouse 6 for J O'Neill, W O'Gorman 7 for P Farrell, E O'Neill 6 for E Dunne, P Gahan 5 for R Keddy.
Ref -- P Murphy (Carlow).