Sport

Classy Kerry crush Kildare

Barry John Keane celebrates after scoring Kerry's fourth goal
Barry John Keane celebrates after scoring Kerry's fourth goal

KERRY 7-16 KILDARE 0-10

Reigning All-Ireland champions Kerry are still on course to defend their title after annihilating Kildare at Croke Park.

The Kingdom rattled the net seven times in a horribly one-sided second half that raises serious questions about just how poor Cork's performance was in losing to Kildare.

From the moment James O'Donoghue kicked Kerry's first point after just 11 seconds, Kerry never looked like losing this game.

Stephen O'Brien kicked two fine points and Paul Geaney added another to put Eamonn Fitzmaurice's side firmly in control early on.

Although Kildare had battled well and won a lot of possession it took them 17 minutes to register their first score, when Niall Kelly kicked a point from a tough angle.

An O'Donoghue free two minutes later restored Kerry's four-point advantage before Kildare briefly threatened to make a contest of this All-Ireland quarter-final.

The Lilywhites kicked the next two points through Alan Smith and Kelly and, with their supporters roaring them on, Jason Ryan's side appeared to have found some momentum.

Kerry simply moved up a gear however, and they kicked the last five points of the first half through O'Brien (2), O'Donoghue, Geaney and Colm Cooper to put the game to bed at half time (0-10 to 0-3).

The second half can only be described as a nightmare for Kildare.

Donnchadh Walsh ended any hope of a Kildare comeback when he found the net in the 39th minute and from then on it was exhibition stuff.

Colm Cooper gave a virtuoso performance, scoring two goals himself and laying on another one for Darren O'Sullivan.

Barry John Keane - who was superb when he came on - also raised a green flag before O'Brien and O'Sullivan rubbed further salt in Kildare's wound with well-taken goals.

It is hard to know how much we can read into this Kerry performance given that this Kildare team also shipped five goals against Dublin in the Leinster Championship.

One thing is for certain however; Kerry will not give up their All-Ireland title easily.

Kerry: B Kealy; M O Se, A O'Mahony, S Enright; J Lyne, K Young, P Murphy; A Maher, D Moran; S O'Brien (1-04), B Sheehan, D Walsh (1-00); C Cooper (2-03, 0-01f), P Geaney (0-02), J O'Donoghue (0-03, 0-01f).

Subs: BJ Keane (1-03) for O'Donoghue, D O'Sullivan (2-01) for P Geaney, P Crowley for O'Se, P Galvin for Walsh, J Buckley for Sheehan, T Walsh for Maher.

Kildare: M Donnellan; O Lyons (0-01), C Fitzpatrick, M O'Grady; K Murnaghan, E Doyle (0-01), E Bolton; T Moolick, P Cribbin; E O'Flaherty (0-01, 0-01f), N Kelly (0-02), P O'Neill (0-02); E Callaghan, A Smith (0-2), C McNally.

Subs: P Kelly for Callaghan, F Conway for Murnaghan, P Fogarty for Kelly, C McNally for Sherry, F Dowling (0-01) for Moolick, G White for Bolton.

Referee: D Coldrick