Kilkenny 2-15 Waterford 0-16
Brian Cody’s Kilkenny won for the first time in Division 1A of the Allianz National Hurling League this afternoon.
The Cats defeated Waterford by five points at Nowlan Park as Waterford conceded two wholly avoidable goals.
On the half hour mark, Ger Aylward picked off Stephen O’Keeffe’s short puckout and ran 30 yards before firing an unstoppable shot past the Waterford goalkeeper.
And with six minutes left, O’Keeffe dropped Paddy Hogan’s long free, allowing Kilkenny sub Matthew Ruth to pounce from close range.
Aylward and Colin Fennelly also missed second half goal chances and Kilkenny registered 13 wides.
This was a far from impressive display from the Noresiders, who are badly missing a number of key players.
Corner back Paul Murphy is set for a spell on the sidelines after he limped off with a hamstring injury in the second half.
Waterford, who lost for the first time in this year’s League, were by far the better team in the first half but Michael Ryan’s charges failed to create a goal chance of note.
They led by 0-15 to 1-9 with less than twenty minutes remaining but Kilkenny opened up with a run of 1-5 without reply to claim the points.
At half-time, Waterford led by 0-11 to 1-6, having played with the breeze from the start.
But in front of 6887 spectators, Kilkenny moved ahead with a run of three unanswered points early in the second half.
Pauric Mahony hit four successive points as the pendulum swung back in Waterford’s favour but they would only register a single point for the remainder of the game as Kilkenny turned up the heat.
Points from Aylwad, Lester Ryan and Ruth brought Kilkenny level at 1-12 to 0-15 before Larkin’s 60th minute free edged the home side in front.
Ruth pounced for that late goal and when Larkin popped over a 66th minute free, Kilkenny were 2-14 to 0-15 clear and in a comfort zone.
Waterford sub Maurice Shanahan and Larkin traded late scores as Kilkenny held out for a win that was far less comfortable than the final scoreline might suggest.
Scorers for Kilkenny: E Larkin 0-6 (5f), G Aylward & M Ruth 1-1 each, A Fogarty 0-3, R Hogan 0-2, L Ryan & C Fennelly 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: P Mahony 0-6 (5f), J Dillon 0-3 (1 sl), S O’Sullivan 0-2, S O’Keeffe (f), K Moran, B O’Halloran, S Walsh & M Shanahan 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; L Ryan, P Hogan; R Hogan, M Bergin, E Larkin; G Aylward, C Fennelly, A Fogarty.
Subs: P Walsh for Tyrrell (24), M Ruth for Bergin (h.t.), W Phelan for Murphy (46).
WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, L Lawlor, S Daniels; J Nagle, M Walsh, K Moran; S O’Sullivan, P Prendergast; B O’Halloran, S Prendergast, J Dillon; B O’Sullivan, S Walsh, P Mahony.
Subs: J Barron for B O’Sullivan (46), M Shanahan for S Walsh (55), B Barry for Moran (65).
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).