Galway gained some revenge on Kilkenny for their All-Ireland final replay win with victory in their Allianz Hurling League Division 1A opener at Pearse Stadium.
Three Galway goals in the second quarter from Davy Glennon, Niall Healy and Damien Hayes – all stemming from direct ball from Joe Canning – set up the win and gave Galway a 3-04 to 0-10 lead at the break.
A scrappy start to the second-half from the All-Ireland champions saw Richie Hogan miss two relatively simple frees as Galway held on for a great win to get their season off to a flyer by winning 3-11 to 0-17.
A tight and tense opening 13 minutes had seen the sides level at 0-03 each, but the home side grew into the tie, and with Joe Canning moving out to the half-forward line, they started to dominate.
And the Portumna star played a key role in Galway's two goals in the 14th and 15th minutes from Glennon and Healy.
On both occasions the Galway attackers crept in behind the Kilkenny full-back line, and both booming deliveries came from Canning.
Hogan pointed a free to get the Cats back into contention in the 17th minute and after Canning dropped over a huge free from his own 65-metre line, Brian Cody's men experienced their best period of the game with five unanswered points to put just one between the sides.
But four minutes from half-time Canning delivered once more and his pin-point crossfield pass found Hayes, who showed admirable poaching instinct to power past the defence and rattle the net.
The three-point half-time lead was whittled down to two when Hogan pointed in the 40th minute, but he let another two scoreable frees slip by that would have levelled matters soon after.
Two more Canning frees and a great point from Glennon put Galway in complete control, and with five minutes remaining a long distance point from man of the match Joseph Cooney underlined their dominance.
Ultimately Kilkenny were left to rue those inaccuracies – they shot seven second-half wides – as Galway finished well and easily kept pace with the All-Ireland champions.
Galway: F Flanery; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; N Donoghue, J Cooney 0-01, D Collins 0-01; I Tannian, A Harte 0-01; J Glynn, N Burke, D Glennon 1-01; N Healy 1-00, J Canning 0-6 (5fs, 1'65), D Hayes 1-01.
Subs: T Haran for Tannian 31, B Flaherty for Healy 52, P Brehony for Burke 68.
Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh 0-01, K Joyce, C Fogarty; L Ryan 0-01, R Power 0-08 (5fs, 1'65),C Fennelly, E Larkin 0-01, M Ruth; T Breen, R Hogan 0-04, A Fogarty 0-02.
Subs: M Kelly for Breen 49,
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).