Kilkenny were without their entire senior squad and manager Brian Cody, but still they beat NUI Galway at their ease in the quarter-final in Ballyragget yesterday.
The Cats fielded a team made up almost entirely of players from the minor squads of the past two seasons, with U-21 manager Michael Walsh in charge. Senior boss Cody was running a training session with his squad back in Kilkenny City.
NUI were under pressure from an early stage after conceding points to Rory Hickey (2) and Canice Maher. When Padraig Walsh slipped in for a goal in the 20th minute (1-6 to 0-2), the visitors were in big trouble.
Niall Burke grabbed NUI's third point in the 26th minute, but already Kilkenny had sneaked a second goal from a penalty by Hickey.
That goal helped the Noresiders into an interval lead of 2-10 to 0-3. Three minutes after the restart, Cathal Kenny pointed and Walsh got his second goal.
NUI finished strongly, with Rory Shanahan, John Conlon, Paul Nihill and Niall Burke catching the eye.
Scorers -- Kilkenny: R Hickey 1-7 (1-0 pen, 7f), P Walsh 2-0, C Kenny 0-3, J Brennan 0-2, R Doyle, J Lyng, C Maher, P Guinan 0-1 each. NUI Galway: J Conlon 1-2 (0-1f), N Burke 0-3 (0-3f), S Brennan 1-0, R Shanahan 0-3, E Noone 0-2 (1 '65'), D O'Donovan, G Kelly 0-1 each.
Kilkenny -- D Walsh; I Duggan, M Walsh, A Cuddihy; D Healy, R Doyle, B Kennedy; L Harney, J Lyng; C Kenny, J Gannon, R Hickey; C Maher, J Brennan, P Walsh. Subs: G Aylward for Gannon (inj), P Guinan for C Maher (inj), P Gahan for L Harney, J Holden for Lyng.
NUI Galway -- D Touhy; N Casey, P Kelly, M Kelly; P Gordon, P Nihill, S McCormack; M Keating, D O'Donovan; J Cooney, J Conlon, N Burke; S Glynn, C Morey, G Kelly. Subs: R Shanahan for S Glynn, E Noone for J Cooney, S Brennan for S McCormack, J Morris for N Casey.
Ref -- B Kelly (Westmeath)