Led by Emlyn Mulligan, who was returning after long injury lay off, the hosts enjoyed a 0-14 to 0-2 half-time advantage with Robert Shore and Stephen Duggan (free) on target for Kilkenny.
Mulligan converted a second-half penalty and also found the net from play while Wayne McKeon and Kevin Conlan also netted for the home side.
Scorers for Leitrim: E. Mulligan 2-8 (pen, 2f.), K. Conlan 1-2, W. McKeon 1-1, P. McGowan 0-4, R. Lowe 0-3, G. Hickey 0-2(1f.), D. Sweeney, C. Clarke, P. Brennan, G. Reynolds, P. Maguire, C. Sheridan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny: R. Shore 0-2, S. Duggan (1f.), 0-1.
LEITRIM: C. McCrann; A. Wynne, C. Egan, P. Maguire; D. Beck C. Clarke, W. McKeon; Daniel Lowe, D. Sweeney; P. Brennan, R. Lowe, G. Hickey; K. Conlan, Paddy McGowan, E. Mulligan.
Subs: J. Glancy for Wynne (HT), F. McMorrow for Beck (HT), G. Reynolds for Hickey (43), C. Sheridan for Brennan (48).
KILKENNY: J. J. Sullivan; D. Grennan, P. Donnelly, P. McBride; J. Dollard, M. Malone, J. J. Grace; R. O’Hara, R Shore; S. Duggan, D. Garvey, R. O’Keefe; J. Fennelly, J. Culleton, G. Lawlor.
Subs: M. Saunders for Dollard (16), J. Sherwood for Culleton (43), G. Smith for Garvey (52), G. Delaney for McBride (56), McBride for Saunders (63).
Referee: L. Devenny (Mayo).