Cats subs sink Dubs to get Brennan off the mark
Kilkenny 0-21 Dublin 0-16
Eddie Brennan got the first victory of his managerial career as Kilkenny dethroned Leinster champions Dublin in Nowlan Park.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner presided over Kilkenny's shock first-round loss to Westmeath last year but his charges are now warm All-Ireland favourites.
Smart use of a talented bench by Brennan held off a Dublin rally.
Three of Dublin's starting 15 played in the seniors' hammering by Galway.
By comparison, Kilkenny had five players who played in the League but only one, Liam Blanchfield, with Championship experience.
Dublin started with the wind but hit nine wides in the first half, and trailed by two points at the break.
Kilkenny then forged seven points clear, and although the Dubs managed to cut the gap to three, late scores from Cats subs John Donnelly (two) and James Bergin extinguished the Dubs threat almost as soon as it sparked.
SCORERS - Kilkennny: A Murphy 0-8 (6fs), B Ryan 0-4, J Donnelly, S Walsh 0-2 each, T Walsh, J Walsh, S Morrissey, J Bergin, L Blanchfield 0-1 each. Dublin: C Currie 0-9 (7fs, 1 '65), R McBride 0-3, D Burke, E Conroy, F Whitely, C O'Sullivan 0-1 each.
KILKENNY - D Brennan; M Cody, C Delaney, R Bergin; C Doheny, J Cleere, T Walsh; H Lawlor, S Morrissey; P Lyng, J Walsh, S Walsh; A Murphy, L Blanchfield, B Ryan. Subs: J Donnelly for Blanchfield (42), L Scanlan for Lyng (46), J Bergin for S Walsh (46), D Mullen for Doheny (55), R Leahy for J Walsh (57).
DUBLIN - J Treacy; D Gray, C Hendricken, J O'Neill; J Malone, S Barrett, P O'Dea; R McBride, B Bolger; E Conroy, F Whitely, C Burke; P Crummey, D Burke, C Currie. Subs: E McHugh for C Burke (25), C O'Sullivan for Crummey (h-t), C Sammon for Gray (h-t), J McGuirk for Bolger (37), C Dowling for O'Dea (54).
REF - P Murphy (Carlow)