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Kilkenny 2-16 Galway 1-16

Updated: Monday, 10 Mar 2014 12:09 | Comments

The Cats led 2-11 to 0-08 at half-time
The Cats led 2-11 to 0-08 at half-time

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Kilkenny picked up their second successive home win in Allianz Hurling League Division 1A with a 2-16 to 1-16 defeat of Galway at Nowlan Park.

The Cats led 2-11 to 0-08 at half-time with Mark Kelly netting in the second minute and Richie Hogan adding a second goal before the break.

Conor Cooney hit four first-half points for an under-strength Galway and finished the game with 1-08 following a crisply struck penalty, but Kilkenny were comfortable winners despite the closeness of the final scoreline.

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody opted to rest the likes of Henry Shefflin, David Herity and Colin Fennelly, the latter having scored 3-05 in Kilkenny's memorable victory over Tipperary last time out.

Galway, who were beaten by Waterford in the previous round, were missing their All-Ireland-tied Portumna players and two late changes saw Gearoid McInerney and Shane Kavanagh start instead of Fergal Moore and Ronan Burke.

Galway's rejigged defence was ruthlessly exposed as Kilkenny blitzed into an ominous early lead with Kelly netting after little over 90 seconds, nestling his shot into the bottom left corner.

Richie Hogan added a quick point after a fine Jonjo Farrell catch and Niall Healy's opener for the Tribesmen was cancelled out by efforts from TJ Reid (free) and the impressive Geoff Brennan.

Davy Glennon broke through and earned a free that Cooney pointed and the Cats had a let-off when Cathal Mannion knocked the ball across the face of goal.

The defending league champions then rattled off three points in a row in response, big midfielder Geoff Brennan drilling over two of them with Hogan also on target for a 1-06 to 0-02 lead.

McInerney, a lively presence in the Galway half-forward line, answered back with a brace of scores and Cooney added another to cut the gap to 1-06 to 0-05 by the 13th minute.

But Cody's charges kept Galway at arm's length with a fine spell of scoring with Walter Walsh pointing superbly from the wing and striking over another after three on the bounce from free-taker Reid.

Cooney's line ball stopped the rot for Galway at 1-11 to 0-06 and McInerney hit his third of the day before Hogan, seizing on a breaking ball, fired home a timely second goal on the stroke of half-time.

It was sucker punch for the westerners who had watched Cooney have a close-in free saved on the line, with Healy and Jason Flynn also guilty of missing scoring chances.

Although they were also guilty of some poor wides, Kilkenny kept the scoreboard ticking over early in the second half with Jonjo Farrell splitting the posts and Reid, who tallied up 0-06, continuing to shoot accurately.

Healy and Cooney gave Anthony Cunningham's side some hope and the margin was down to six points – 2-15 to 1-12 – after Cooney tucked away his penalty.

Walter Walsh's point with eight minutes left proved to be Kilkenny's insurance score as they secured a workmanlike victory.

Galway tagged on four more before Colm Lyons' final whistle, with Niall Burke and Padraig Brehony getting on the scoresheet.

Kilkenny: E Murphy; C Fogarty, M Walsh, J Tyrrell; B Kennedy, L Ryan, C Buckley; G Brennan (0-03), P Walsh; W Walsh (0-03), R Hogan (1-03), J Brennan; JJ Farrell (0-01), M Kelly (1-00), TJ Reid (0-06, 0-04f).

Subs used: J Power for J Brennan (48 mins), P Phelan for G Brennan (61).

Galway: C Callanan; D Collins, S Kavanagh, J Coen; A Harte, I Tannian, Daithi Burke; David Burke, P Brehony (0-01); C Mannion, G McInerney (0-03), D Glennon; N Healy (0-03), C Cooney (1-08, 1-00 pen, 0-07f), J Flynn.

Subs used: N Burke (0-01) for Mannion (46 mins), P Killeen for Flynn (53), P Landers for Glennon (54).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)

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