NHL Division 1 Group B
Tipperary 2-24 Kilkenny 1-21
Kilkenny halved the half-time deficit, but a six-point defeat to Tipperary in UPMC Nowlan Park has left them with much to ponder.
Tipperary did all the damage in the opening half with their forwards, led by Jason Forde, who finished with 1-15 in lively form.
Forde hadn't featured in the opening game against Laois, as did none of the starting forwards, as manager Liam Cahill retained just six players, but they brought all the zip and energy to build a 12-point interval lead.
With two new managers for this age-old rivalry, there were gains to be made and Cahill will be happier despite racking up 19 wides.
Kilkenny made changes to arrest the slide, with John Donnelly's introduction for Cian Kenny having a big influence as he hit four points, while a rejigged defence saw improvements after the break, with David Blanchfield making an impact. But the withdrawal of Mikey Butler, the current All-Star, after 40 minutes, although due to injury, showed how off-colour the Kilkenny defence had been.
Kilkenny did close to four points, 2-20 to 1-19, by the 62nd minute and that got the home contingent in the 10,458 attendance briefly excited.
And with Billy Ryan showing well at centre-forward and Billy Drennan adding 10 points on his home league debut, there was cause for optimism.
But Tipperary always had enough in their locker with Noel McGrath pulling so many strings and Forde adding consistently to his tally, a sideline conversion and then a quick intercept on the puck-out in the 65th minute, restoring order.
Tipperary suffered a double injury blow in the opening quarter when midfielder Paddy Cadell limped off just five minutes before Cathal Barrett retired six minutes later, having collided with one of his own players.
But they were unmoved by either withdrawal and powered on to build a commanding lead, stretching 0-7 to 0-3 clear before Forde struck the first goal, taking advantage of Seamie Callanan's control and vision on 27 minutes.
Shane Walsh responded with a Kilkenny point, but Tipperary might have added another goal soon after when Jake Morris ran into space off a Tipp puck-out, and with pace built up, swept around Padraig Walsh before forcing a good save from Aidan Tallis, who had earlier touched over a shot for a point by Conor Bowe.
From the 65, Forde converted and while Ryan responded, all the zip and energy was with the visitors, with Alan Tynan, John Campion and Forde (free) pushing them nine clear as time elapsed.
With seven added minutes, there was more pain for Kilkenny, despite Donnelly's brace of points.
Tallis again had to be smart to save from Bowe on 41 minutes after Tynan had nipped in to intercept Padraig Walsh's pace to Darragh Corcoran, but Morris gathered the rebound and finished neatly for a 2-13 to 0-7 interval lead.
Scorers - Tipperary: J Forde 1-15 (7fs, 2 65s, 1sl); J Morris 1-2; C Bowe, N McGrath 0-2 each; A Tynan, J Campion, M Kehoe all 0-1 each. Kilkenny: B Drennan 0-10 (7fs, 1 65); M Keoghan 1-2; J Donnelly 0-4; C Fogarty, W Walsh, B Ryan, S Walsh, P Walsh all 0-1 each.
Tipperary: B Hogan; C Barrett, M Breen, J Ryan; E Heffernan, P Campion, R Maher; P Cadell, D McCormack; A Tynan, N McGrath, J Morris; J Forde, S Callanan, C Bowe. Subs: J Campion for Cadell inj (5), E Connolly for Barrett inj temp (11), M Kehoe for Callanan (53), B O'Mara for P Campion (54), S Kennedy for J Campion (61), S Ryan for Morris (67)
Kilkenny: A Tallis; M Butler, H Lawlor, C Heary; C Buckley, P Walsh, D Corcoran; P Deegan, c Kenny; W Walsh, B Ryan, K Doyle; B Drennan, M Keoghan, S Walsh. Subs: J Donnelly for Kenny (24), D Blanchfield for Heary (h-t), C Fogarty for Doyle (h-t), A Murphy for Butler (40), G Dunne for Murphy inj (61).
Referee: P Murphy (Carlow)