Buckley a shining star in Kerry's stroll to decider
All Ireland MH 'B' semi-finals: Kerry 2-22 Down 3-9
Kerry qualified for the final as they came from behind to score an impressive 10-point win over a resolute Down side, in this semi-final, played in Newbridge on Saturday.
Down were quicker out of the traps than Kerry, as they raced 1-1 to 0-1 clear by the end of the opening quarter, thanks to a 14th-minute goal from Daithi Sands.
Once a John Buckley '65, deceived the Down 'keeper and ended up in the net, in the 19th minute, and a minute later, Buckley gave Kerry the lead with a long-range point, Down never looked threatening.
The Lixnaw duo of Shane Conway and Buckley tormented Down, as Conway drilled home a penalty on the stroke of half-time, to give Kerry a 2-8 to 1-6 lead.
Kerry drove on in the second half, with Buckley adding 0-7 from frees and play.
Rhys Ward got a last-minute goal for Down, but Kerry deservedly reached another All-Ireland Final when they will meet Roscommon on September 5.
SCORERS - Kerry: J Buckley 1-7 ( 1-0 '65, 0-1 free), S Conway 1-7 ( 1-0 pen, 0-4 frees), F Mackessy 0-3, E Leen and K O'Regan 0-2 each, T O Connor 0-1. Down: C Coulter 0-7 (0-6 frees, 0-1 '65), D Sands 1-1, P Loughrane and R Ward 1-0, R Beattie 0-1.
KERRY - R Silles, B Lyons, M Leane, G Stackpoole, E Ross, J Diggins, R Collins, J Buckley, T O'Connor, S Conway, J McKenna, D Egan, E Leen, F Mackessy, C Sheehy. Subs: K O'Regan for C Sheehy (40), C Browne for D Egan (46), C Breen for E Leen (48), J Lenihan for T O'Connor (48), L Mullins for B Lyons (55).
DOWN - H Flynn, M Mee, C Monan, D Og Rooney, O Duggan, L Savage, E Coulter, J Doran, P Loughrane, A Doran, J Murphy, C Coulter, D McCartney, R Beattie, D Sands. Subs: L Courtney for P Loughrane (45), R Ward for A Doran (54).
REF - J Heffernan (Wexford)