Power provides spark as Cats outclass Galway
Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 1-14
It may have only been the Walsh Cup that was on offer at Pearse Stadium yesterday, but Kilkenny showed the hunger of old as they swept past a disappointing Galway.
Brian Cody was back on the sideline and with 13 of his All-Ireland winning side getting a run at some stage, it was hardly a surprise that they eased their way to their 18th Walsh Cup.
But the task facing Anthony Cunningham and his management team as they try to rebuild the Tribesmen was all too apparent.
It was a chastening experience for a young Galway side who found themselves 1-7 to 0-2 adrift after just 15 minutes.
Richie Power led the way with 11 points, most of them from frees, and he tormented the home defence with some strong running and astute passing.
Galway managed to rally in the third quarter and came within three points at one stage but Eoin Larkin ended any notions of a comeback when he finished to the net after Cillian Buckley dispossessed Galway goalkeeper James Skehill.
An early goal from Richie Hogan got Kilkenny into their stride.
A James Regan goal helped Galway rally, but another brace from Power before the break put Kilkenny 1-13 to 1-7 in front at the interval.
Joe Canning fired over a string of frees to haul Galway back into contention as they reduced the margin to a goal, but Larkin pounced to fire home Kilkenny's second goal after 55 minutes.
That ended the game as a contest, although Galway will take hope from having hauled themselves back into contention from a 1-11 to 0-6 deficit after 26 minutes.
In those opening minutes Power was untouchable for Kilkenny and it was only when Fergal Moore was moved from full-back to mark him that Galway began to get a foothold.
Canning hit a wonderful point from play but he didn't connect with a goal attempt from a free after taking a knock to the hand and Kilkenny eased their way to victory.
Scorers -- Kilkenny: R Power 0-11 (8f, 1 '65'), R Hogan 1-3, E Larkin 1-1, J Mulhall, C Fennelly 0-2 each, P Hogan 0-1f. Galway: J Canning 0-9 (8f), J Regan 1-1, D Burke 0-2, B Burke, C Cooney 0-1 each.
Kilkenny -- D Herity; N Hickey, JJ Delaney, P Murphy; P Hogan, B Hogan, C Fogarty; L Ryan, M Rice; J Mulhall, R Power, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Hogan, A Fogarty. Subs: M Fennelly for Rice (h-t), J Tyrrell for Murphy (h-t),T Walsh for Ryan (h-t), K Buckley for Fennelly (54), W Phelan for Hickey (66).
Galway -- J Skehill; D Connolly, F Moore, K Hynes; B Flaherty, T Og Regan, P Huban; J Coen, D Burke; E Ryan, I Tannian, J Canning; D Hayes, C Cooney, J Regan. Subs: M Lydon for Huban (31), N Donohue for Flaherty (31), B Burke for Hayes (h-t), J Cooney for Coen (48), T Haran for Ryan (63).
Ref -- J McGrath (Westmeath).