Kilkenny extend winning run as Cats ease past provincial rivals Dublin
Kilkenny extended their winning sequence in the Allianz Division 1A to four games when they wrapped up the regulation phase of the campaign with a comfortable 0-23 to 1-14 win over Dublin.
Both sides were already qualified for the quarter-finals and consequently it lacked the bite of previous games.
Once again TJ Reid showed why he is considered the best hurler in the game with an impressive display from centre-forward, scoring 11 points including five from play.
But conversely his opposite number Liam Rushe did most to drive Dublin on as they inched closer in the second half without ever really eating into a Kilkenny lead established before the break.
Walter Walsh also showed great industry in the half-forward line while Padraig Walsh stood out at half-back, helping himself to two points.
The home side didn't take long to hit cruise control, Reid leading the line impressively as he helped himself to three points from play in the opening 19 minutes for a 0-7 to 0-1 lead.
But there was more than a touch of profligacy about them and by the end of the half they had clocked up 10 wides, seven more than their entire total in Cork the previous week and one less than Dublin.
That third Reid point was the precursor for some Dublin reaction with Mark Schutte getting space from Jackie Tyrrell to deliver a crossfield pass to Fionntan MacGibb, a late replacement for David O'Callaghan, who finished efficiently.
But it was no game-changer. Kilkenny merely picked up from where they left off to snatch the next six scores and eventually take a 0-14 to 1-3 lead in at the break.
It ebbed and flowed after that. Eamonn Dillon and MacGibb stretched the Kilkenny defence a few times but while the wide count more than halved, the Dublin attack really lacked a cutting edge.
Dillon had their best chance of a second goal but drew a fine save from Richie Reid in the 70th minute.
Scorers - Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-11 (6fs), W Walsh, R Hogan 0-3 each, P Walsh, L Ryan 0-2 each, J Power, K Joyce (f) 0-1 each.
Dublin: D Treacy 0-5 (4fs), F McGibb 1-1, E Dillon 0-3, N McMorrow 0-2, M Schutte, L Rushe, J McCaffrey 0-1 each.
Kilkenny: R Reid; J Tyrrell, J Holden, B Kennedy; P Walsh, K Joyce, C Buckley; L Ryan, D Cody; W Walsh, TJ Reid, J Maher; JJ Farrell, J Power; R Hogan.Subs: M Malone for Maher (61), S Prendergast for Tyrrell (61), K Kelly for Malone (72).
Dublin: G Maguire; E O'Donnell, C O'Callaghan, O Gough; C Crummy, L Rushe, S Barrett; D O'Connell, G Whelan; C Cronin, N McMorrow, D Treacy; F McGibb, E Dillon, M Schute. Subs: J McCaffrey for Whelan (28), S McGrath for Cronin (46), S Treacy for O'Connell (61)
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).