A first-half shooting spree was enough for Kerry to get past a spirited Waterford at Fraher Field.
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, they surged six points up after ten minutes, Bambury hitting an early brace. David Looby nailed Waterford’s first of the evening on 13 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. Tom O’Sullivan tagged on two points as Kerry led by 14 points at halfway (1-12 to 0-1).
Kerry were reduced to 14 when Cormac Coffey received a second yellow card. Moments later, Cormac Curran got his marching orders for a high challenge. Waterford posted four on the spin over the final quarter.
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).
Ref – S Lonergan (Tipperary)