By John Fogarty
Kilkenny 0-21 Galway 1-14
Kilkenny had to fend off a second-half spurt by Galway to make it back-to-back Division 1A wins in Nowlan Park.
Watched by a 7,402 crowd, Kilkenny led by eight points when the excellent Conor Fogarty pointed in the 47th minute.
However, their advantage was whittled down to one point by the hour mark thanks to a Paul Hoban goal and a glut of visitors’ scores with Joe Canning showing prominently.
Points from Colin Fennelly and TJ Reid, who scored 14 in total, steadied the ship and late points from Richie Hogan, who earlier in the half squandered a gilt-edged goal chance, and Reid from a free, confirmed the Cats’ victory.
The only time Galway were ahead in this game was in the first two minutes.
Three consecutive points from Kilkenny got them up and running and while Galway returned with a brace of their own Kilkenny then reeled off seven without reply.
Reid was chief protagonist, helping himself to 10 first half points, half of which came from frees as Galway’s defence buckled under the pressure of the amount of ball coming their way and losing many of the aerial exchanges.
Goal opportunities were scarce. Joey Holden did have to be at his best to hook Jason Flynn and deny him an almost certain goal in the 11th minute. At the other end in the 19th minute, Walter Walsh had a goal-bound shot deflected for a 65.
Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (0-14, 7 frees, 3 65s); R Hogan, C Fogarty, J Maher (0-2 each); C Fennelly (0-1).
Scorers for Galway: J Canning (0-8, 3 frees); P Hoban (1-0); I Tannian, D Glennon (0-2 each); J Flynn, P Brehony (0-1 each).
KILKENNY: R Reid; S Prendergast, J Holden, JJ Tyrrell; P Walsh, J Holden, C Buckley; L Ryan, C Fogarty; C Fennelly, TJ Reid, J Maher; W Walsh, K Kelly, R Hogan.
Sub for Kilkenny: JJ Farrell for K Kelly (62).
GALWAY: J Skehill; G McInerney, F Moore, Daithí Burke; A Harte, David Burke, P Hoban; A Smith, D Glennon; N Burke, I Tannian, C Whelan; C Mannion, J Canning, J Flynn.
Subs for Galway: E Burke for C Mannion (h-t); M Keating for A Smith (41); P Brehony for C Whelan (52); S Maloney for I Tannian (60); R Cummins for J Flynn (68).
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)