Kingdom boss Fitzmaurice failing to see advantage of new rule
Kerry 2-12 CIT 0-13
Kerry, as expected, advanced to face the old enemy Cork in Sunday's final but were workmanlike more than impressive against a very fit CIT side at the John Mitchels Complex in Tralee.
Again the black card was not an issue, with none required, although a more contentious topic was the use of the advantage rule.
Kerry can thank Bryan Sheehan for his unerring accuracy from frees as he kicked seven and added two points from play, while CIT were reliant on Cathal Vaughan who kicked 0-8 (6fs).
Kerry led 1-7 to 0-6 at the interval with Stephen O Brien scoring the goal in the sixth minute when Sheehan and Alan Fitzgerald set him up. Sheehan added five frees and points from Donnchadh Walsh and Alan Fitzgerald completed Kerry's haul with Paul Murphy catching the eye at corner-back.
Vaughan had five first-half points for CIT, who were denied a goal in the 30th minute by a great double save by Brendan Kealy.
Kerry huffed and puffed in the second half without ever putting CIT away until a 50th-minute goal by Barry John Keane.
The highlight for many of the home crowd came when Paul Galvin was introduced to centre-back in the 58th minute. Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice confirmed afterwards that Galvin will continue to be used as a defender for the foreseeable future.
Fitzmaurice was pleased with the win but felt the performance was patchy. "It was a very Jekyll and Hyde performance. There were some very good passages of play... but overall it was very much a mixed performance.
"We mixed the good with the bad, we got the result, we have another game next weekend, and I suppose that was the main aim of the exercise. I felt our attitude was a good bit better than last weekend."
The Kerry boss appeared was baffled by the new five-second advantage rule. "The advantage rule did not work well for us today, in a couple of instances. Stephen O'Brien was fouled and he dished the ball on to the Peter Crowley who was straight through, and yet the play was pulled back, without the five seconds having elapsed."
Scorers -- Kerry: B Sheehan 0-9 (7fs), BJ Keane 1-1, S O'Brien 1-0, D Walsh, A Fitzgerald 0-1 each. CIT: C Vaughan 0-8 (6fs), J Walsh 0-3, R O Sullivan, D Treacy 0-1 each.
Kerry -- B Kealy; P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright; M Geaney, J Sherwood, B McGuire; A Maher, D Moran; J Lyne, B Sheehan, D Walsh; B J Keane, A Fitzgerald, S O'Brien. Subs: P Crowley for M Geaney (h-t), S O'Callaghan for A Fitzgerald (inj, 42), M Reen for D Walsh (54), B Shanahan for A Maher (58), P Galvin for B McGuire (58), M Geaney for J Lyne (66).
CIT -- A O'Donoghue; P Kilkenny ( Kerry), E Byrne, TJ Brosnan; R O'Sullivan, P Daly, J Collins; B O'Sullivan ( Kerry), K O'Connor; S Finn, S McCarthy, D Treacy; C Vaughan, D Og Hodnett, J Walsh ( Kerry). Subs: T Hegarty for K O'Connor (h-t), J Corkery for S Finn (38), S Cahill for J Collins (54), C O'Sullivan for B O'Sullivan (58), G Fannin for TJ Brosnan (66), L Prendergast for P Daly (68).
Ref -- R Moloney ( Limerick)