A dominant first half performance paved the way for an impressive Kerry victory over Laois in the second round of the Joe McDonagh Cup at Austin Stack Park, Tralee.
Jack Goulding, Shane Nolan and Brendan O'Leary all netted as the Kingdom took a 3-10 to 0-9 lead into the interval. Laois, who had defender Podge Lawlor sent off before half-time, were unable to stage a second half revival and are now facing elimination after also losing to Westmeath in the first round. The result has revived Kerry's hopes of reaching the final after they were narrowly beaten by Carlow last weekend.
Before a paltry crowd of about 200, the Kingdom signalled their intent with a goal from corner forward Goulding inside the first minute. Laois hit back with points from Ross King, Ben Conroy, Paddy Purcell, Cha Dwyer, PJ Scully and Willie Dunphy, but Shane Conway was on fire at the other end to keep the hosts in front.
O'Leary then swooped for Kerry's second goal before things went from bad to worse for the O'Moore County when Lawlor received a straight red card for an incident which happened immediately after the goal.
Shane Nolan added a quick 1-1 to give the Kingdom a 10-point cushion at the break.
Ross King narrowed the gap on the restart, only for Daithi Griffin and Shane Conway to reply for the winners. Laois couldn't get any closer than nine points as scores from Conway, Bryan Murphy and Jack Goulding ensured the Kingdom remained in complete control.
Kerry - M Stackpoole; S Weir (0-2), J Buckley, B Murphy (0-1); B Barrett (0-1), D Collins, T Murnane; S Nolan (1-2), B O'Leary (1-0); D Griffin (0-1), M Boyle, B O'Mahony (0-1); J Goulding (1-2, 0-1sl), P Boyle, S Conway (0-9, 7f). Subs: J O'Connor for T Murnane, D O'Carroll for S Nolan, T O'Connor for D Griffin, M O'Connor (0-1) for J Goulding, J Diggins for S Weir.
Laois - E Rowland; P Lawlor, L Bergin, L Cleere; R Mullaney, M Whelan, E Killeen; P Purcell (0-1), C Taylor (0-1); C Dwyer (0-1), B Conroy (0-5), W Dunphy (0-1); R King (0-8, 6f, 2'65), S Maher (0-1), PJ Scully (0-1). Subs: C Stapleton for L Bergin, J Ryan for L Cleere, J Phelan for R Mullaney, M Kavanagh for E Killeen, M Dowling for PJ Scully.
Referee - D Hughes.Tweet