Kilkenny claimed their second win in three when seeing off the limited challenge of Laois in their Allianz Hurling League Division 1B encounter at UPMC Nowlan Park

The Cats travel to face Dublin next Saturday and manager Brian Cody and his troops will have nothing but victory on their mind for that one.

"We are hoping to have some of the Ballyhale Shamrocks players available," Cody said. "It is getting to the time of in the season when you want to be getting a shape on your team, so for that reason too doing well against Dublin would be important."

No one learned much from this mild affair in Nowlan Park. The game lacked any sort of cutting edge, and when Kilkenny put their foot on the gas in the second half they simply drove away from the opposition.

The Noresiders were able to afford the luxury of shooting 13 wides in the second half; finishing with 14 men after Conor Heary pulled up with a leg muscle injury in the 68th minute after they had used their five subs, and they still won pulling up.

Laois trailed by 0-11 to 1-12 at half-time after playing with the wind, so things didn't look good for them. When they were hit for 1-05 without reply between the 40th and 45th minute it was all over as they found themselves 0-12 to 2-18 behind.

Billy Ryan of Kilkenny attempts to evade Diarmuid Conway

There was an exchange of points after the break, but then the Cats showed their teeth. Billy Ryan, Martin Keoghan (2) and Alan Murphy (2) all landed unanswered points during the scoring barrage.

When newcomer Tom Phelan charged 50 metres, threw a lovely dummy hand-pass to lose two defenders before shooting to the net in 44th minute it was bye, bye Laois as the divide opened to a yawning 12 points (2-18 to 0-12).

From the throw-in the Kilkenny full-forward line caused Laois big problems. By the break the three inside men had scored 12 points between them - Alan Murphy (7, six free), Billy Ryan (3) and Martin Keoghan (2) - as the Cats led by 1-12 to 0-11.

Ryan opened the scoring with a point, but two in reply from Laois midfielder, Jack Kelly, and another from Stephen Maher earned the visitors an early lead they held for only a few minutes.

On six minutes Tom Phelan took a lovely pop pass from Martin Keoghan in front of the Laois goal, and from no more than 15 metres he lashed the ball into the net to level it (0-04 to 1-01)

On seven minutes Martin Keoghan drilled over a point to put Kilkenny back in front, and there they stayed to the finish. The action never amounted to much, however, and when Kilkenny upped their game after the change of ends the game became a very one-sided affair.

Kilkenny: E. Murphy; M. Butler, T. Walsh, M. Carey; N. Brassil, P. Deegan, D. Blanchfield (0-01); C. Kenny, J. Donnelly; W. Walsh, C. Buckley (0-02), T. Phelan (2-01); B. Ryan (0-04), M. Keoghan (0-04), A. Murphy (0-13, 9f).

Subs: J Maher (0-01) for J. Donnelly ht; C. Heary for Brassil ht; J. Bergin for Keoghan 55th min; S. Murphy for Buckley 63rd min; J. Walsh (0-01) for W. Walsh (0-01) 64th min.

Laois: E. Rowland (0-02f); D. Conway, S. Downey, F. Flanagan; P. Delaney (0-01), L. O’Connell, R. Mullanney (0-01); F Fennell (0-01), J. Kelly (0-03); P Purcell, J Lennon, R King (0--03, 1f); J Keyes, C Dwyer, S Maher (0-03, 2f).

Subs: P Dunne for F. Flanagan ht; C Comerford for S. Maher 45th min; C Phelan for J. Lennon 45th min; C Byrne (0-01) for C Dwyer 52nd min; E Killeen for L O’Connell 58th min.

Referee: R. Fitzsimons (Offaly).