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Murphy the maestro as Kerry crush Waterford

A strong first-half showing allowed Kerry to keep their championship hopes alive at Fraher Field last night.

The visitors played with the aid of the elements in the opening half and carved out a 1-7 to 0-0 lead at the break.

After losing to Tipperary in the quarter-final last Saturday, Kerry started with intent. The scoring spree began only 90 seconds into the contest, when Conor Keane fisted home a Niall Sheehy delivery to the net. Jack Savage also kicked four points and Kieran Murphy landed two as they established a commanding 10-point cushion.

Murphy dominated the midfield exchanges and rifled over his third point on the resumption.

But the home side refused to wilt and hit 1-2 without reply in a three-minute spell to breathe life back into the game.

Waterford opened their account on 37 minutes when Ryan Donnelly converted a free, quickly followed by a point from Michael Curry. Then Donnelly emphatically dispatched a penalty to the roof of the net on 40 minutes after Gavin Crowley fouled Laurence Houlihan.

After seeing their lead reduced to six points, Kerry found the perfect response. Points from the impressive Savage and Sheehy eased any nerves as they pulled away.

Waterford full-back Jack O'Donnell received his marching orders three minutes from time after picking up a second yellow.

Mickey Ned O'Sullivan's side will now face Limerick on April 24 to earn a place in the last four.

Scorers -- Kerry: J Savage 0-6 (3f), C Keane 1-1, K Murphy 0-3, N Sheehy 0-2(1f), S Moloney, D Daly 0-1 each. Waterford: R Donnelly 1-1 (1-0 pen, 1f), L Houlihan, M Curry 0-1 each.

Kerry -- G Curran; C U Luing, G Crowley, S O'Connor; B Crowley, R Murphy, J Barry; E O Conchuir, K Murphy; N Sheehy, J Savage, C Fitzgerald; K McCarthy, D Daly, C Keane.

Subs: A Spillane for Fitzgerald (27), S Moloney for Barry (h-t), G O'Shea for McCarthy (h-t), G Horan for O Luing (34), A Barry for Sheehy (54).

Waterford -- A Kirwan; C Burke, J O'Donnell, B Looby; S O'Donovan, T Burke, J Barron; T Devine, M Kiely; A O'Donoghue, M Curry, P O'Connor; C Gleeson, L Houlihan, R Donnelly. Subs: S Halley for C Burke (42), M Casey for O'Donoghue (49), M Troy for Houlihan (54), D Scanlon for Kiely (59).

Ref -- K Murphy (Cork).

Irish Independent