Kilkenny 6-20 Offaly 0-14

Goal hungry Kilkenny struck Offaly hard and early at Nowlan Park to wrap up victory long before full-time and advance with ease to the semi-finals of the Allianz hurling league. 

First-half goals from Kevin Kelly and Colin Fennelly helped open up a 15-point advantage for the hosts while Fennelly finished with 2-01 and John Power, Lester Ryan and Liam Blanchfield also netted. 

The result was never in doubt and heaps the pressure on struggling Offaly who narrowly avoided a relegation scrap in Division 1B and open their Leinster championship qualifier series account on 1 May in Westmeath. 

As for Kilkenny, they cruised through to an 17 April semi-final tie against Clare and could afford to rest star duo TJ Reid and Richie Hogan as well as a host of other regulars. 

The only downside was a number of potential injuries ahead of the Clare date. Goal scorer Fennelly pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury late on while big brother Michael, Robert Lennon and Paul Murphy were all taken off early on. 

Offaly were installed on long odds for a rare win over the Cats after narrowly avoiding a relegation scrap in Division 1B with a fourth placed finish. 

The omens weren't good either as their one and only win in a league quarter-final came way back in 1995. 

Bookmakers suggested that Kilkenny would win by at least 14 points and the hosts had remarkably covered that margin as early as the 26th minute. 

Cody's side led 2-10 to 0-01 at that stage and, in truth, the game was already up for the Faithful. 

Shane Dooley got their solitary point in that period while Kilkenny registered score after score at the other end. Kelly, who scored 2-01 against Tipperary, registered 1-03 of that early tally including a 16th minute goal. 

Dooley broke Kilkenny's scoring sequence momentarily but the hosts tacked on another 1-05 without reply to open up that huge 15-point advantage. 

Colin Fennelly fired their second goal after a trademark burst of pace through the middle following Jonjo Farrell's lay-off. 

Offaly recovered slightly and clawed back four points before the break to trail by 2-11 to 0-05. 

Offaly continued to impress after the restart with four points though Kilkenny were soon back in their groove and Fennelly hit his second goal in the 40th minute, sneaking a shot just beyond 'keeper James Dempsey. 

Power grabbed Kilkenny's fourth before midfielder Ryan sneaked a long ball in to the net for their fifth and ex-underage star Blanchfield wrapped up the goal blitz in the 65th minute. 

Kilkenny: E Murphy; P Murphy, R Lennon, S Prendergast; C O'Shea (0-01), K Joyce, C Buckley (0-01); M Fennelly (0-02), L Ryan (1-02); W Walsh (0-01), C Fennelly (2-01), K Kelly (1-07, 0-07f); L Blanchfield (1-03), J Farrell, J Power (1-02).

Subs: J Holden for Lennon, D Cody for M Fennelly, J Tyrrell for Murphy, M Malone for Cody, C Martin for Walsh.

Offaly: J Dempsey; N Wynne, D Shortt, C McDonald; D Mooney, C Doughan, P Camon; S Ryan, K Connolly (0-03); C Egan (0-01), S Kinsella, P Guinan; S Dooley (0-06, 0-06f), J Bergin (0-01), J Mulrooney (0-02).

Subs: P Murphy (0-01) for Guinan, C Kiely for Ryan, D Kelleher for Shortt, J Gorman for Kinsella, J Sampson for Doughan.

Referee: A Kelly (Galway).