Sharpshooter Nolan helps the Kingdom hammer Wicklow
Kerry 2-20 Wicklow 1-6
EAGLE-eyed sharpshooter Shane Nolan led the way for Kerry hurlers as they racked up a runaway 17 points win over Wicklow in Division 2A at Arklow yesterday.
After being held to a draw the previous week by Derry, this win puts the Kingdom back in contention for league honours just a point behind unbeaten Carlow after two games.
Wicklow had a bright enough start and had a chance to race into a clear lead in the first five minutes, but full-forward Andy O'Brien and Daniel Staunton failed to put away a clear goal chance.
Thereafter a physically stronger and faster Kerry took control of the proceeding, punishing slack marking by Wicklow all over the field, with Nolan racking up five points - three from frees and another from a 65 - while centre-forward Sean Weir finished off a good run by Mikey Boyle with a goal from close range to lead by 1-8 to 0-2 at half-time.
With the wind at their back, Wicklow had a promising start to the second half with a goal by winger Anto Byrne and a point by Jonathan O'Neill to cut the margin to five points.
Kerry responded immediately with a second goal by Sean Weir, after that Wicklow's challenge fizzled out and they were reduced to 13 players as Mikey Lee and Diarmuid Masterson were sent off for second yellow cards.
Man of the Match: Shane Nolan
SCORERS - Kerry: Shane Nolan 0-7 (5 frees, one 65), Sean Weir 2-1, M Boyle, M O'Leary, P Boyle 0-2 each; K Carmody, P Lucid, J Griffin, C Harty, J Flaherty, B O'Leary. Wicklow: Anto Byrne 1-0, M Lee (frees) and A O'Brien (one free) 0-2 each; Jonathan O'Neill 0-1 (free), John Connors 0-1.
KERRY - J Logue 7, D Fitzell 7, P Kelly 7, P Costello 7, D Shanahan 6, B Murphy 7, T Casey 7, J Griffin 7.5, P. Lucid 7.5, S Nolan 8, S Weir 8, D Royle 6, M. Boyle 7, M O'Leary 8, K. Carmody 6. Subs: C Harty for K Carmody (46); Carmody for P Costello (49), J Flaherty for P Lucid (54m), B O'Leary for A Royle (58m), P Boyle for S Nolan (60m).
Wicklow - T Kennedy 8, T Doyle 6, B Cuddihy 6, M O'Brien 5, E Dunne 6, J Henderson 6.5, L Kennedy 6, S Byrne 6, J Connors 6.5, C Moorehouse 5, Jonathan O'Neill 6, Anto Byrne 7, M. Lee 6.5, A O'Brien 6.5, D Staunton 6. Subs: P Keane for M O'Brien (ht), D Masterson for J Connors (48m), G Weir for L Kennedy (58), P Doran for C Moorehouse (63m), Jamie Byrne for Jonathan O'Neill (63m).
Ref - Sean Cleere, Kilkenny.