Four goals proved the difference as Kilkenny powered past Westmeath 4-18 to 0-18 in Round 3 of the Walsh Cup at Cusack Park.

Walter Walsh set the tone for the Cats as early as the third minute when he scored the first goal of the game to open up a four-point lead, following TJ Reid’s opening point.

Westmeath were very slow to get going and found themselves ten points down by the time Jonjo Farrell hit theback of the net for the second goal in the 11th minute.

Walsh grabbed his second goal of the game in the 14th minute as the contest was all but settled as Kilkenny led by 12 points with less than 15 minutes on the clock.

And despite Westmeath’s best efforts, almost matching Brian Cody’s side point for point for the next 20 minutes, the Cats maintained that advantage and took a 13-point lead into the break, the score 3-12 to 0-08.

The final nail in the Westmeath coffin was hammered home in the third minute of the second half as Farrell grabbed his second goal of the afternoon, Kilkenny now leading by 16 points.

It will be scant consolation for Westmeath that they managed to narrow the gap to just 12 points by the end of the contest and will take heart from the 18 scores they converted throughout.

Elsewhere in the competition, Galway secured their place in the semi-finals with a 1-19 to 0-16 victory over Laois at Rathowney.

Joe Cooney's first-half goal proved decisive as the Tribesmen enjoyed a six-point victory.

In the other games, Antrim hammered DCU 6-17 to 1-22, while Offaly edged Kildare 2-22 to 2-20.

Kilkenny will now play Wexford in the semi-finals, while Galway will play Carlow IT.