Galway finished with a flourish to see off Kilkenny by eight points in their first Leinster SHC game in the county.
A crowd of 18,775 in Pearse Stadium saw the home side go into a lead from the 23rd minute that they never relinquished.
Kilkenny, who only managed 1-2 from play both in the first half, and whose TJ Reid was their only scorer in the second half, were only three points off up to the hour mark but a flurry of points from Conor Cooney helped them on their way to a handsome win after some valiant defensive work by Pádraic Walsh and Paddy Deegan.
The Cats did have a goal disallowed in the 65th minute when Bill Sheehan was penalised for dropping the hurley in setting up Walter Walsh for a goal. However, Walsh did manage a consolation three-pointer in additional time.
Kilkenny chose to play against the wind and found themselves fortunate to be four points down at half-time, 1-9 to 1-5.
They trailed by eight at one stage but shot 1-1 in the final couple of minutes, a Reid penalty goal after a dangerous foul in the area on Luke Scanlon and he could count himself blessed to avoid a red card.
Reid’s shot was as true as Joe Canning’s 29th minute penalty goal after Conor Whelan had been impeded illegitimately.
Cathal Mannion followed up with a point and Galway’s dominance was reflected on the scoreboard. Up until Walter Walsh moved out to the half-forward line, their half-backs were winning the majority of battles while their distribution of the ball was more meaningful.
Galway had the ball in the net in the eighth minute when Brian Concannon was given a second chance after Eoin Murphy had denied his first strike but the score was ruled out for square ball.
A minute later, Murphy had to be on his toes again to deflect a Conor Cooney shot over the bar. Whelan put a goal chance wide in the 31st minute.
Scorers for Galway: J. Canning (1-12, 1-0 pen, 0-8 frees, 1 65); C. Cooney (0-4); C Mannion (0-2); B, Concannon, David Burke, J. Flynn, N. Burke (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kilkenny: T.J. Reid (1-9, 1-0 pen, 0-8 frees, 1 65); W. Walsh (1-1); L. Scanlon (0-1).
GALWAY: J. Skehill; A. Harte, Daithí Burke, A. Tuohey; P. Mannion, G. McInerney, J. Hanbury; J. Coen, David Burke (c); J. Cooney, J. Canning, C. Mannion; C. Cooney, B. Concannon, C. Whelan.
Subs for Galway: J. Glynn for B. Concannon (inj 51); J. Flynn for J. Cooney (61); N. Burke for C. Mannion (67); S. Loftus for J Canning, P. Killeen for P. Mannion (both 70+1).
KILKENNY: E. Murphy; E. Morrissey, P. Walsh, P. Deegan; C. Delaney, C. Buckley (c), P. Murphy; C. Fogarty, J. Maher; M. Keoghan, T.J. Reid, L. Blanchfield; J. Donnelly, W. Walsh, L. Scanlon.
Subs for Kilkenny: C. Fennelly for J. Donnelly (h-t); J. Holden for E. Morrissey (45); R. Leahy for M. Keoghan (55); B. Sheehan for L. Blanchfield (58).
Referee: F. Horgan (Tipperary).