Kilkenny enjoy routine afternoon against Carlow but left with injury concerns around three key men
Kilkenny 3-22 Carlow 1-14
Injuries that forced off Colin Fennelly, Walter Walsh and Alan Murphy were the blots on the copybook for Kilkenny as they enjoyed a largely routine afternoon in Netwatch Cullen Park.
Save for a period just after half time, the Cats bossed exchanges to move within touching distance of ensuring qualification from the group as they head into a three-week break before their next outing against Galway.
A goal after just 17 seconds from Kilkenny full forward Colin Fennelly set the tone for what would be an utterly one-sided first half.
Carlow came into the game as 12/1 outsiders but had hardly got going when the Cats struck for their second goal through Ger Aylward on eight minutes.
Martin Kavanagh had opened the home side’s account just a minute earlier but with TJ Reid pulling the strings, Kilkenny were on top in every department.
They had opened up a ten-point lead by the 14-minute mark and could have been even further ahead but for some wayward shooting. By the 20-minute mark, they had hit double figures in that regard and that number would grow to 13 by the time Alan Kelly drew the first half to a close.
Kilkenny’s third goal came from the penalty spot on 29 minutes when Reid dispatched after Bill Sheehan was fouled. A Walter Walsh point and a Reid free saw the Cats take a 3-9 to 0-3 lead in at the break.
To their credit, Carlow rallied on the restart and enjoyed a purple patch than saw them outscore Brian Cody’s men by 1-5 to a point in the ten minutes after half time and they would 'win' the second half by 1-11 to 0-13.
However, Kilkenny never looked troubled and they secured their second win in two games with Reid finishing with 1-12 to his name in another man of the match display.
SCORERS - Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-12 (8f, 1 65, 1-0 pen), C Fennelly, G Aylward 1-1 each, J Donnelly, A Murphy 0-2 each, R Leahy, B Ryan, A Mullen, W Walsh 0-1 each
Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-5 (4f), J Doyle 1-1, C Nolan 0-3 (2f), S Murphy 0-2, B Treacy (1f), J Kavanagh, D English 0-1 each
Kilkenny: D Brennan; P Murphy; H Lawlor, T Walsh; C Fogarty, P Walsh, P Deegan; A Murphy, R Leahy; A Mullen, W Walsh, TJ Reid; B Sheehan, C Fennelly, G Aylward SUBS: L Blanchfield for Fennelly (27), J Donnelly for Walsh (HT), B Ryan for Aylward (49), J Cleere for Deegan (53), M Keoghan for Leahy (61)
Carlow: B Tracey; K McDonald, P Doyle, M Doyle; E Nolan, D English, R Coady; J Kavanagh, S Whelan; JM Nolan, M Kavanagh, E Byrne; J Doyle, S Murphy, C Nolan SUBS: A Corcoran for P Doyle (HT), T Joyce for E Byrne (49), J Murphy for Whelan (64), D Byrne for J Kavanagh (66), R Smithers for J Doyle (68).
Referee: A Kelly (Galway).