Three first-half goals laid the foundation for an important home win for the Kerry hurlers against Laois in this Joe McDonagh Cup second-round game, which keeps the Kingdom in the hunt after last weekend's loss to Carlow.

Jack Goulding's goal after 90 seconds was the perfect start for Kerry and that score remained the buffer between the teams for the next 30 minutes until Brendan O'Leary struck for the Kingdom's second goal in the 33rd minute to make it 2-8 to 0-7.

Shane Conway converted five frees for Kerry in the first half, with Ross King scoring three frees and a '65' to keep Laois in contention.

Laois had to withdraw full back Leigh Bergin after just 10 minutes, and his loss was acutely felt with O'Leary and Sean Weir getting in for really good goal chances, with the former shooting wide and Weir taking a point with the goal at his mercy to make it 1-5 to 0-5 after 15 minutes.

Moments after conceding that second goal, Laois had defender Padraig Lawlor red-carded for helmet interference and then, three minutes into additional time at the end of the half, Shane Nolan finished off a great Kerry move to the net to make it 3-10 to 0-9 at the break.

Early second half points from Barry Mahony and Conway stretched Kerry's lead to 12 points and the Kingdom never looked in trouble thereafter. Ben Conroy scored four from play in the second half for Laois but with that extra man Kerry never looked like conceding a goal, and they matched the visitors' 10 points after the interval to ensure the win.

Kerry: Martin Stackpoole, Sean Weir 0-02, John Buckley, Bryan Murphy 0-01, Brandon Barrett 0-01, Daniel Collins, Tom Murnane, Shane Nolan 1-02, Brendan O’Leary 1-00, Dáithí Griffin 0-01, Mikey Boyle, Barry O'Mahony 0-01, Jack Goulding 1-02 (0-1 s/l), Padraig Boyle, Shane Conway 0-09 (0-07f). 

Subs: James O'Connor for T Murnane (inj, 24), Daniel O'Carroll for S Nolan (55), Tomas O'Connor for D Griffin (68), Maurice O'Connor 0-01 for J Goulding (70+3), Jason Diggins for S Weir (70+4).

Laois: Enda Rowland, Podge Lawlor, Leigh Bergin, Lee Cleere, Ryan Mullaney, Matthew Whelan, Eric Killeen, Paddy Purcell 0-01, Cian Taylor 0-01, Charles Dwyer 0-01, Ben Conroy 0-05, Willie Dunphy 0-01, Ross King 0-08 (0-06f, 0-02 '65'), Stephen Maher 0-01, PJ Scully 0-01.

Subs: Colm Stapleton for L Bergin (10), James Ryan for L Cleere (24), Joe Phelan for R Mullaney (HT), Mark Kavanagh for E Killeen (47), Mark Dowling for PJ Scully (58).

Referee: David Hughes (Carlow)