Nolan runs Kildare ragged
Shane Nolan confirmed his underage promise by blitzing Kildare's defence for seven points from play as Kerry recorded a hard-fought victory in Newbridge.
The Crotta starlet was on the All-Ireland MHC 'B' winning side two years ago and his haul, allied with the 10 points provided by Darragh O'Connell, was key.
Kildare's new manager Willie Sunderland elicited a good response from his charges and they trailed by only a point, 0-12 to 0-11, at half-time.
Martin Fitzgerald, David Harney and Leo Quinn kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second half and the Lilywhites led by 0-18 to 0-17 at the three-quarter mark.
But Kerry finished strongly. John Egan goaled with a low shot from a tight angle in the 55th minute and Kerry kicked on with three points in as many minutes.
Tony Murphy did get a goal back in the dying minutes, after former Cork All-Ireland winner Bernard Rochford had made a good save from Quinn, but Kerry maintained the upper hand.
Man of the Match: Shane Nolan (Kerry)
Scorers -- Kerry: D O'Connell 0-10 (4f, 2 '65'), S Nolan 0-7, J Egan 1-2,J Flaherty 0-2, J Casey, M Conway, D Dineen, L Boyle 0-1 each. Kildare: T Murphy 1-2, M Fitzgerald 0-5 (4f), L Quinn, D Harney 0-3 each, K Divilly, M Moloney, C Kelly 0-2 each, N Ó Muineacháin, B White 0-1 each.
Kerry -- B Rochford 7; J Godley 7, T Murnane 6, C Harris 5, J Casey 7, M Conway 7, P O'Grady 6; D Dineen 7, J Egan 8; M Boyle 6, G O'Brien 6, S Nolan 10; D O'Connell 9, A Boyle 7, J Flaherty 6. Subs: E Fitzgerald 6 for Harris inj (3), A Royle 6 for O'Grady (45), L Boyle 6 for O'Brien (62), P O'Keeffe 6 for Conway (67), B Murphy 6 for Flaherty (70).
Kildare -- R Connolly 7; J Doran 7, P Reidy 7, F Ó Muineacháin 6; J Byrne 5, R Hoban 7, N Ó Muineacháin 7; K Divilly 7, B White 7; C Kelly 6, M Moloney 7, L Quinn 7; T Murphy 7, D Harney 7, M Fitzgerald 7. Subs: E O'Neill 6 for Byrne (54), T Byrne 6 for White (58), K Waltzer 6 for Murphy (69).
Ref -- E Hasson (Derry).