Brian Cody wasn't patrolling the sidelines but will be delighted after Kilkenny produced a command display to beat Galway 1-24 to 1-17 at Semple Stadium.
Kilkenny will meet Tipperary in a mouthwatering Division One decider after a comfortable win over the Tribesmen.
The Tribesmen made the better start with Joe Canning pointing a free before Cyril Donnellan blasted to the net after his initial shot was saved by Eoin Murphy.
Richie Hogan and Canning traded points before Aidan Fogarty and Eoin Larkin raised white flags for the Cats.
There was a very nasty clash of heads between Walter Walsh and Fergal Moore on 10 minutes.
Moore was stretchered from the field in a neck brace after a nine minute delay and brought to hospital.
On the resumption of the game Galway wing-back scored before three Eoin Larkin frees levelled matters.
Larkin and Joseph Cooney traded points before Colm Callanan produced a stunning save to deny Riche Power with Larkin firing over the resultant 65.
Canning levelled maters once more before the Cats added five in a row with Lester Ryan's two efforts the pick of those.
Canning added another free before Larkin and Ryan added points before the break to make it 0-15 to 1-6 to Kilkenny at the break.
Both sides exchanged points on the restart before Damien Hayes cut the gap to five points.
Richie Power was denied by another incredible save by Callanan on 40 minutes and this time Larkin missed the 65.
A brace from Richie Hogan sandwiched by a Joe Canning free saw Kilkenny lead by 0-18 to 1-9 with Galway struggling to capitalise on the breeze.
Callanan was finally beaten on 45 minutes by a beautifully improvised effort from Colin Fennelly.
Points from Larkin and Power then stretched the Cats into an 11 point advantage
Joe Canning and Cyril Donnellan responded with points for Anthony Cunningham's men but Larkin added a free to break their momentum.
Richie Hogan was gifted a point before scores from Canning(2) and Donnellan made it an eight point game.
Aidan Harte and Cillian Buckley swapped points before Michael Rice raised a white flag as Kilkenny kept Galway at a safe distance.
David Burke and Andy Smith added late points but they were mere consolation as Kilkenny ran out seven point winners.