The rematch of last year’s County final had an eerily familiar start with Kenny O’Connor involved again in the fireworks. He received a straight red after two minutes when he was deemed to have hit Ciaran O’Connor off the ball.
The numerical disadvantage was far too much for Leitrim to handle and despite the best efforts of Rory Woods who kicked all seven of the sides scores, Kerry ran out easy winners. They did make hard work of it in the first half and were only three in front 0-07 to 0-04 at the break.
O’Connor had returned to the fray after getting treatment and he was picking up a lot of ball in the half back line. While the sides split four points to open the second half, Kerry finally broke the game open when Gary Driscoill followed a Naill Farrell point with a clinically finished goal.
The wave followed with a further 1-06 against a solitary Woods point while Lonan McGuire was the second Leitrim player to get an early shower.
Kerry 1 Shane Clifford 2 Rory McLoughlin 4 James Huvane 5 Sean Kelly (0-01)6 Ciaran O’Connor 7 Kieran Scannell 8 Mike Jim Fitzgerald (0-01)9 Mike Nester 10 Keelan Hickey (0-01)11 Gary O’Driscoll (1-03)12 John Curran (0-04)13 Naill Farrell (1-01)15 Robbie Moran (0-05)Subs Ger O’Sullivan, Dermie Foley, Shane Coffey, Steve Gomez.
Leitrim 1 Pa Ryan 2 Mike Creegan 4 Lonan McGuire 5 Cian Maher 6 Mike McGowan 7 Danny Sullivan 8 Adrian O’Connor 9 Eoghan Carew 10 Keith Power 11 Rory Woods (0-07)12 Brian O’Connor 13 Kenny O’Connor 15 Dave Harvey
Referee John Fitzpatrick
Man of the match John Curran (Kerry)