Points from John Power and Mark Bergin during the closing 90 seconds gave Kilkenny a hard-earned win over NUI Galway in St John's Park.
Galway star Niall Burke, who helped himself to nine points, pointed a free to leave NUIG two ahead nine minutes from the end.
They had led 0-10 to 0-8 at the break, and twice in the second half were four up. Alas, they couldn't keep up the effort. The closing four scores fell to the Cats, who had no one from their All-Ireland team in action.
Scorers – Kilkenny: J Power 0-8 (7f); R Reid 0-3 (1f); S Donnelly, M Kelly, M Ruth, S Maher, M Power, M Bergin 0-1 each. NUIG: N Burke 0-9 (8f); D Higgins, K Downes 0-2 each; J Cooney, A Cunningham 0-1 each.
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)