Laois proved just too powerful for the Kingdom when the sides clashed at Austin Stack Park in Tralee yesterday afternoon in a dead rubber played in ideal conditions.
Laois finished a credible third in the table behind Clare and Limerick, while Kerry boss John Meyler will be pleased to have maintained their Division 2 status and given some more game time to some of his younger players in preparation for the next weekend's Christy Ring Cup opener against Kildare.
Laois were always in control of this contest with man-of-the-match Willie Hyland, who posted 0-9 of Laois's final tally, being the star turn in a game that was predictable from the outset.
Laois were way superior in most facets of the game to the hoe side and led at the break by 2-7 to 0-6 thanks in the main to goals from Garry Reddan and midfielder Sean Bourke.
Aidan Boyle, with a tremendous strike five minutes into the second half, re-ignited Kerry's hopes somewhat, but Laois were never in any danger.
Goals from Bourke, his second of the game, and Owen Holohan completed a comprehensive victory for the Leinster men.
Man of the Match: Willie Hyland (Laois)
Scorers -- Laois: W Hyland 0-9 (5f), S Bourke 2-2, G Reddan 1-1, O Holohan 1-0, B Dunne, N Costelloe, J Rowney 0-1 each. Kerry: D O'Connell 0-6 (5f), J Egan 0-4, A Boyle 1-0, S Nolan, J Flaherty 0-2 each, P O'Keeffe 0-1.
LAOIS -- P Mullanney 7; J A Delaney 7, B Campion 7, B Stapleton 6; J Fitzpatrick 7, M Whelan 8, B Galvin 7; N Costelloe 8, S Bourke 8; B Dunne 7, G Reddan 8, W Hyland 9; O Holohan 7, N Foyle 6, J Brophy 7. Subs: S Dollard 6 for Reddan, J Prior 6 for Delaney, J Rowney 6 for Foyle.
KERRY -- JB O'Halloran 7; B Brosnan 7, J Godley 7, C Harris 7; J Casey 6, M Conway 7, T Murnane 8; D Fitzell 6, D Dineen 6; M Boyle (capt) 7, G O'Brien 6, S Nolan 7; J Egan 8, A Boyle 7, D O'Connell 7. Subs: J Flaherty 8 for Fitzell, A Royle 7 for A Boyle, R Casey 6 for O'Connell, P O'Keeffe 6 for Dineen, B Murphy 6 for Flaherty.
REF -- G O'Connell (Cork)