A first half shooting spree was enough for Kerry to get past a spirited Waterford at a misty Fraher Field tonight.
Full forward combination Killian Spillane and Cathal Bambury scored 1-11 between them as Jack O’Connor’s men eased through to the provincial final on March 29.
In front of 363 fans, the away team surged six points up after ten minutes. Cathal Bambury was responsible for an early brace. David Looby nailed Waterford’s first of the evening on thirteen minutes.
The Déise lost full back Stephen Ryan to a black card as Sean O’Shea stretched the lead to eight. On 24 minutes, the centre forward ripped open the home defence and he supplied Killian Spillane to palm to the net.
Corner back Tom O’Sullivan tagged on two points as Kerry enjoyed a fourteen point halfway lead (1-12 to 0-1).
O’Shea raised another white flag within a minute of the resumption. Looby responded with a consolation 45 for the hosts.
Kerry were reduced to fourteen men when defender Cormac Coffey received a second yellow. Moments later, Cormac Curran got his marching orders for a high challenge.
A battling Waterford posted four on the spin over the final quarter courtesy of Joe Allen, Looby, Edmund O’Halloran and Conor Murray.
O’Connor’s team wrapped it up with late singles from Bambury and Spillane.
Scorers – Kerry: K Spillane 1-6 (3fs), C Bambury 0-5, S O’Shea 0-3 (1f), T O’Sullivan 0-2, A Barry, M Flaherty 0-1 each.
Waterford: D Looby 0-3 (2fs, 1 45’), E O’Halloran, C Gleeson, C Murray, J Allen (f) 0-1 each.
Kerry: S Ryan; T L O’Sullivan, J Foley, B Sugrue; J Morgan, T O’Sullivan, C Coffey; B O’Sullivan, A Barry; B Ó Seanacháin, S O’Shea, M Flaherty; L O’Donoghue, K Spillane, C Bambury.
Subs: I Parker for O’Shea (41), B O Beaglaíoch for Barry (44), R Ó Sé for Tom O’Sullivan (44), D O’Brien for Sugrue (47), B Barrett for Flaherty (47), G O’Sullivan for Foley (54).
Waterford: K Dwane; C McCarthy, S Ryan, M Cronin; E O’Halloran, D O Cathasaigh. S Kelly; D Guiry, C Curran; D Looby, C Gleeson, C Murray; C Brown, J Allen, M Sweeney.
Subs: C O’Neill for Ryan (19, BC), D Fitzgerald for Sweeney (38), J Mulcahy for Brown (54).
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary)
When a jubilant Tony Kelly eventually made it off the hallowed Croke Park sod having helped Clare secure just the fourth All-Ireland SHC title in their history, he never could have imagined that his next playing venture to the capital would be with his club Ballyea.