Kilkenny 5-32 Offaly 1-18

Updated: Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 23:08 | Comments

Kilkenny's Richie Hogan with Joe Bergin and Dan Currams of Offaly
Kilkenny's Richie Hogan with Joe Bergin and Dan Currams of Offaly

Kilkenny advanced to face Galway in the Leinster semi-final in two weeks' time after a comprehensive 5-32 to 1-18 win over Offaly in Nowlan Park.

Offaly questionably opted to play against the breeze in the opening-half and were duly punished by the rampant Cats who notched 2-21 from play with eight different scorers getting on the score-sheet in the first 35 minutes.

Indeed, Mark Kelly was the only forward not to get on the scoreboard and when he got his first score, a goal seven minutes after the break, Kilkenny were already well on the way to a 26-point victory.

However, Brian Cody will worry over the fitness of his star forward TJ Reid, who had to go off with another knee injury in the 57th minute after another impressive display. 

Kilkenny never relinquished their lead and they sensed blood outscoring their opponents by 20 points before half-time, going in with a 2-22 to 0-06 lead at the break.

Kilkenny notched three more majors before the finish with Mark Kelly (2) and Eoin Larkin adding to his own from the first-half and Colin Fennelly’s.

Aidan Fogarty’s introduction in the 57th minute offered more selection problems for manager Cody as he scored three points in his short cameo.

The fact that the spread of scorers hit double figures for the Cats was another positive, yet they must be aware that tougher challenges lie ahead, with Offaly a pale shadow of the team which lifted the Liam MacCarthy in 1998.

The only drawback of the second-half surrounded Reid’s injury sustained midway through after a heavy blow to his knee.

Nevertheless, lighting up the scoreboard no fewer than 37 times is undoubtedly an impressive way to be heading into the semi-final where they will face a Tribesmen outfit bereft of confidence.

Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy (0-01), JJ Delaney, B Kennedy; P Walsh, J Tyrrell, C Buckley; L Ryan (0-02), R Hogan (0-04); W Walsh (0-03), M Fennelly (0-03), TJ Reid (0-06, 0-02f); C Fennelly (1-06), M Kelly (2-00), E Larkin (2-04).

Subs: K Joyce for Kennedy (28mins); Tommy Walsh for C Fennelly (49mins); B Hogan for P Walsh (51mins); A Fogarty (0-03) for Reid (57mins); JJ Farrell for M Fennelly (61mins).

Offaly: J Dempsey; N Wynne, R Hanniffy (0-01), J Rigney; B Harding, D Morkan, C Parlon (0-01); C Mahon (0-01), S Ryan (0-01); J Bergin (0-01), D Currams (0-01), P Geraghty; K Connolly, S Dooley (0-01), B Carroll (1-10, 0-05f).

Subs: C MacDonald for Rigney (27mins); T Geraghty for P Geraghty (35mins); S Quirke (0-01) for Connolly (35mins); G Healion for Harding (53mins); K Slevin for Bergin (61mins).

Referee: James Owens (Wexford).

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