Monaghan flattered to deceive by taking the lead in the 40th minute when Graham Doyle beat Kilkenny goalkeeper John McGuinness with a looping header.
But two goals in the final minute of the half transformed the game in Kilkenny’s favour. Tadhg Purcell scored from close range after an incisive pass from Philip Sheppard. Then Sheppard himself volleyed home from 10 yards when a cross from Jamie Duffy found him unmarked.
Sheppard ended any hope of a Monaghan revival in the 66th minute when he out-paced the defence and chipped the ball over Robbie Horgan.
In the 76th minute Purcell scored his second goal, converting a penalty after Sean Kelly had fouled Duffy.
: Horgan, Murphy, White, Doyle, Foy, Reilly, Fullam, Griffin, Kelly, P Hughes, Quinn. Subs. Whelan for Reilly (78 mins), G Hughes for P Hughes (81 mins).
: McGuinness, Connaughton, Price, Scully, Gannon, Duffy, Leahy, McNicholas, Courtney, Sheppard, Purcell. Subs. Ryan for Sheppard (88 mins), Griffith for McNicholas (90 mins).
: P Duddy (Donegal).
On Saturday night in Division One, Kupono Low scored a penalty at St. Colman’s Park and set up Paul Brown’s killer second goal as Sligo moved three points clear at the top of the eircom League, First Division table.
In a tight first half, Cobh came closest to breaking the deadlock on 23 minutes when Conor Meade’s shot came back off the Rovers crossbar.
It went badly wrong for Cobh 11 minutes into the second half when Dave Warren was sent off for handling a Sean Flannery header on the line and Low slotted home the spot kick.
Low then whipped over a cross in the final minute for substitute Paul Brown to head the second.
In the meantime, Kildare County came from behind on Saturday, leaving Athlone boss John Gill still searching for his first victory after six games in charge of the side.
Alan O’Connor punished a defensive slip to put Athlone in front in first half stoppage time.
County defender Kevin Cronin’s clearance ricocheted off a team-mate to put O’Connor in on goal and he shot home from the edge of the area.
Martin Reilly set up Ger O’Brien to equalise within two minutes of the restart from a stunning 25-yard drive.
Reilly was again involved for the winner nine minutes from time.
In the eircom Premier Division on Saturday night, Longford Town moved back up to fourth in the standings after beating St Patrick’s Athletic 1-0.
Referee Dave McKeon pointed to the spot with only seven minutes left after harshly penalising Pat’s centre half Stephen Caffrey for handling Mooney’s cross. Home skipper Barry Ferguson blasted home the penalty to give Longford the win.