Two goals in as many second half minutes spurred Kerry on to overcome Laois in the Allianz Hurling League.
The Division 1B encounter in Tralee saw the Kingdom prevail 3-14 to 0-19, an unlikely scenario given that Laois looked the better side for so much of the game.
The first half was dominated by Laois, who opened with two points in as many minutes, going 4 ahead by the 8th minute. Shane Nolan opened Kerry’s account with a point in the 9th minute but Laois were ahead 6 points to 1 after 13 minutes.
Kerry had the next two scores, through Nolan, but Laois hit back with two of their own. That made it Laois 8 points Kerry 3 after 20 minutes. After Shane Nolan missed two frees Laois extended their lead to 6 and the gap was 7 after 26 minutes at 0-10 to 0-3. Laois, who were playing with the wind, led 0-13 to 0-4 at the short whistle.
A Kerry goal opened the second half scoring, courtesy of a second minute penalty by Padraig Boyle. However, the Kingdom continued to waste chances and registered their 11th wide early in the period. Second half scores were proving hard to come by and Kerry cut the gap to 0-15 to 1-8 in the 49th minute. Laois led 16 points to 1-9 entering the final quarter hour.
A Padraig Boyle goal 10 minutes from time made it a 3 point game and they netted again almost immediately, this time through Colum Harty. The sides were now level at 3-9 to 0-18 and Mikey Boyle pointed the Kingdom in front with 8 minutes to go. Shane Nolan doubled the lead with 5 minutes left. After a Laois point Padraig Boyle put over for Kerry to put them 2 up again with 3 minutes remaining. Colum Harty pointed Kerry further in front at 3-13 to 0-19 and Paudie O’Connor then made it a 4 point game with what proved to be the final score of the outing.
For our liveblog go to www.radiokerry.ie/kerry-v-laois-allianz-hurling-league/
Eamonn Kelly, Laois manager
Fintan O’Connor, Kerry manager