Kerry hurlers start as they mean to go in Leinster with win over Carlow

History was made in Tralee.

Kerry boss Cairan Carey.
Kerry boss Cairan Carey.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round Robin Series Round 1

Kerry 2-19

Carlow 0-17

HISTORY WAS MADE in Tralee today when the Kerry hurlers played their inaugural fixture in the Leinster Championship, and the Kingdom marked the occasion with a comfortable win over Carlow.

Kerry had eight points to spare over Carlow in the end but it took Shane Nolan’s kicked 42nd-minute goal to set up a winning platform, and by the hour mark the Kingdom had the Leinster men’s measure, easing to a deserved and expected win with a string of second-half points.

The first half was notable for two things: John Egan’s 13th-minute goal for Kerry and the 12 wides Carlow registered as they utterly wasted the majority share of possession they enjoyed.

Jack Kavanagh struck the visitors’ first point from 70 metres after 25 seconds, an indication of the strength of the breeze in Carlow’s favour in the first half, but a quick succession of scores from Egan, Shane Nolan, Daniel Collins and Mikey Boyle had Kerry 0-4 to 0-1 ahead by the eighth minute.

Carlow had it back to 0-4 apiece before Colum Harty placed Egan for a low strike to the net, and the next 20 minutes produced a smattering of points from either side as Kerry took a 1-6 to 0-7 lead to the break, with that dozen Carlow wides looking as if they would prove costly.

Shane Nolan and Richard Kelly exchanged points early after the restart, but when the former managed to toe-poke the sliotar underneath Carlow goalkeeper Brian Treacy in the 42nd minute there was an air of inevitability about the outcome.

Michael Kavanagh’s points from play and frees kept the visitors in contention through the second half, but they never really threatened for the goal they badly needed.

Kerry midfielder John Griffin mined three second-half points, with substitute Jordan Conway scoring two as Kerry eased out to a 10-point lead, before Carlow brought it back to eight at the end.

Next week Kerry entertain Westmeath in Tralee when another win would put them well on their way to a Leinster quarter-final, even setting up the possibility of a unique Munster-Connacht contest when they could face the might of Galway.

Scorers for Kerry: Shane Nolan (1-4, 0-3f), John Egan (1-3), John Griffin (0-3), Mikey Boyle (0-2), Jack Goulding (0-2), Jordan Conway (0-2), Daniel Collins (0-1), Michael O’Leary (0-1), Darren Dineen (0-1f)

Scorers for Carlow: Martin Kavanagh (0-8, 6f), John Michael Nolan (0-2), Jack Kavanagh (0-1), Richard Kelly (0-1), Seamus Murphy (0-1), Sean Murphy (0-1), James Doyle (0-1f), Conor Lawlor (0-1), Hugh Paddy O’Byrne (0-1)


1. Aidan McCabe (Kilmoyley)

2. Bryan Murphy (Causeway)
3. Patrick Kelly (Clarecastle)
4. Keith Carmody (Causeway)

5. Jason Diggins (Causeway)
6. Darren Dineen (St Brendans)
7. Tom Murnane (Kilmoyley)

8. John Griffin (Lixnaw)
9. Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley)

10. Colum Harty (Causeway)
11. Michael O’Leary (Abbeydorney)
12. Shane Nolan (Crotta O’Neills)

13. Jack Goulding (Ballyduff)
14. Mikey Boyle (Ballyduff)
15. John Egan (St Brendans)


23. Brendan O’Leary (Abbeydorney) for C Harty (inj, 18 min)

21. Jordan Conway (Crotta O’Neills) for S Nolan (46 min)

25. James O’Connor (Abbeydorney) for B O’Leary (67 min)
26. Brandon Barrett (Causeway) for J Goulding (67 mins)

22. Dougie Fitzelle (Kilmoyley) for B Murphy (69 mins)


1. Brian Treacy (Naomh Eoin)

2. Ger Coady (St Mullins)

3. Michael Ryan (Ballinkillen)

4. Alan Corcoran (Erins Own)

5. Diarmuid Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers)

6. Richard Coady (Mount Leinster Rangers)

7. James O’Hara (Naomh Eoin)

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8. Jack Kavanagh (St Mullins)

9. Richard Kelly (Mount Leinster Rangers)

10. Sean Murphy (Ballinkillen)

11. Martin Kavanagh (St Mullins)

12. Kevin McDonald (Mount Leinster Rangers)

13. Seamus Murphy (St Mullins)

14. James Doyle (St Mullins)

17. John Michael Nolan (Erins Own)


15. Ross Smithers (Naomh Eoin) for J Kavanagh (inj, 23 mins)

19. Hugh Paddy O’Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers) for S Murphy (50 min)

18. Conor Lawlor (Carlow Town) for K McDonald (69 min)

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)

  • OFFALY’S MINOR HURLERS booked their spot in the provincial semi-finals meanwhile. The Faithful saw off Westmeath on a scoreline of 3-09 to 1-07.  David Buckley, Joey Keenaghan and Eoin woods raised the green flags for Offaly. The last four tie is set for O’Connor Park on 15 May. 

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About the author:

Paul Brennan

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