Martin on song to down Laois
Kilkenny opened their campaign with a flattering eight-point win over Laois in O'Moore Park on Saturday night.
A goal from the impressive Conor Martin six minutes from time finally killed off a skilful and determined Laois side.
Martin had been impressive all day, and his penalty in the second minute had given Kilkenny the dream start. After a nervy start, the hosts finally settled. PJ Scully and Cha Dwyer had them in the hunt, and they trailed by five at the break, 1-9 to 0-7.
Kilkenny pushed that lead out to seven with just over five minutes gone in the second half, but Laois mounted a comeback.
Led by the accuracy of Scully, they whittled the lead down to just one point, but they couldn't get any closer, as Kilkenny eventually wrested back control of the game.
SCORERS -- Kilkenny: C Martin 2-6 (1-0 pen, 0-3f, 0-1 65), E Bergin 0-3, R Moran, D Cody, D Bourke 0-2 each, M Donnelly, S Donnelly 0-1 each. Laois: PJ Scully 0-9 (0-7f), C Dwyer 0-4 (0-1f), A Corby, B Conroy 0-1 each
KILKENNY -- D Holohan; C Doyle, J McDowell, R Fitzpatrick; C Bolger, E Morrissey, J Maher; M Donnelly, K Walsh; C Martin, R Moran, D Cody; K Kenny, E Bergin, S Donnelly. Subs: N Brophy for Moran (43), D Bourke for S Donnelly (43), K Ryan for Walsh (49), J McGrath for Cody (59).
LAOIS -- E Rowland; D Palmer, C McEvoy, C Dunne; A McGowan, P Bergin, G Dunne; C Stapleton, C Taylor; A Corby, C Dwyer, B Conroy; A Moore, D Quinlan, PJ Scully. Subs: J Lennon for Quinlan (40), D Lynch for Bergin (57).
Ref -- J Keenan (Wicklow).