Carlow finished their National Hurling League campaign in style on a sun-drenched afternoon at Netwatch Cullen Park as Tom Mullally’s men laid down a strong marker ahead of the Joe McDonagh Cup.
The home side started the game at rapid pace with Marty Kavanagh and John Nolan leading the charge as they went 0-05 – 0-01 ahead within the first ten minutes.
Kerry were below par throughout the encounter with star man Shane Conway uncharacteristically missing in the early passages of the game.
Chris Nolan burst through the Kerry defence and slipped in Myshall man John Nolan who expertly fired to the back of the net, moving Carlow 1-06 – 0-02 ahead.
Nolan went from provider to finisher soon after the water break firing Carlow eight points ahead with a well taken score of his own.
Kerry responded with two points, but John Nolan got on the scoresheet again as Carlow took a 1-08 – 0-04 lead into the closing stages of the first half.
The home team continued to dominate and were rewarded for their constant pressure as Marty Kavanagh got their second goal of the game after a wonderful catch that allowed him the space to find the back of the net.
James Doyle at centre back was running the show for the Barrowsider’s as he confidently orchestrated a Carlow side who were oozing with confidence.
John Nolan got another long-range point from 56 yards out to get the final score of a one-sided half leaving the scoreboard at 2-12 to 0-07.
Carlow persisted with their high intensity game as James Doyle pointed for the first score of a second half that was sadly as uncompetitive as the first.
There was a huge flurry of points soon after as Carlow increased their tally to 2-14 with Kerry eleven points adrift at 0-09. Kavanagh added another free and got his second goal of the game to all but end the tie as a contest midway through the second period.
Shane Conway attempted to make the scoreboard look as respectable as possible with several frees and Kavanagh was denied his third goal of the tie by Kerry shot-stopper Darren Delaney who saved from a low and powerful shot.
Tom Mullally made several changes with just fifteen minutes left in the game but they never took their foot off the peddle, as the home side continued to go in search of goal scoring opportunities.
Carlow knocked on a cluster of points as the game came to a close to leave the score at 3-25 – 0-14. Carlow’s ruthless performance suggests they may be in good shape ahead of the Joe McDonagh Cup campaign which begins with a clash against Leinster rivals Kildare.