Kilkenny made it two wins from two with a nine-point win over Offaly on Sunday afternoon at Nowlan Park.
Kilkenny 2-19 Offaly 1-13
Brian Cody’s charges seen a nine-point lead narrowed to three with five minutes to go but Liam Blanchfield’s goal all but sealed the win in the end as Kilkenny hit 1-3 in final few minutes.
Blanchfield opened the scoring on 7 minutes with a good point having bet set up by full back Padraig Walsh who made a good catch in defence and delivered a good clearance to Blanchfield. Blanchfield was superb for Kilkenny in assisting in scores to though, he assisted Reid for his goal on 16 minutes, while he also set up Luke Scanlon for a nice point. Reid’s goal came when he found space just to the right of the goals and accepted a pass from Donnelly to finish past Cahill in the Faithful goal. Reid though had an off day and missed three first half chances and hit them wide of the posts. The goal on 16 minutes had Kilkenny ahead 1-06 to 0-05. However, Kilkenny took control then with Scanlon and Reid both hitting a brace a piece. Kilkenny led by 1-10 to 0-07 at the break
Reid and Leahy pointed on the resumption and the writing was on the wall for Offaly as they trailed by eight points. It was a game where may be Offaly thought they couldn’t win in all honesty and may be the tough game against Galway didn’t help them in that respect either. Colin Fennelly was introduced as a substitute and he added more pace to the Cats attack, he immediately won a free before Reid tapped over. Mid-way though the second half the Ballyhale man was it again as he tapped over a neat point on 52 minutes after shrugging off some Offaly players tackles, Kilkenny led by 1-16 to 0-10. Offaly to their credit never gave up and fought back, they scored a goal through Joe Bergin after Dooley assisted him with a superb pass. The gap was down to three but Kilkenny’s quality in the end shone out as Blanchfield’s goal and Donnelly’s point put some gloss on the score line at full time.
Player of the Match: Luke Scanlon
Offaly now play Wexford next Saturday in Tullamore, while Kilkenny make the journey west to take on Galway and what a game that will be !!!
Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy (0-01, 0-01f); Joey Holden, Padraig Walsh, Paddy Deegan; Conor Delaney, Cillian Buckley, Paul Murphy; Conor Fogarty, Lester Ryan; Martin Keoghan (0-02), TJ Reid (1-05, 0-04f) Richie Leahy (0-01); John Donnelly (0-02), Liam Blanchfield (1-02), Luke Scanlon (0-04)
Subs: Colin Fennelly (0-02) for Fogarty (41), Conor Browne for Ryan (52), Ger Aylward for Scanlon (54), Conor O’Shea for Leahy (70).
Offaly: Eoghan Cahill; Tom Spain, Dermot Shortt, Ben Conneely; Damien Egan, Pat Camon (0-01), David O’Toole Greene; David King, Shane Kinsella (0-02); Oisin Kelly (0-01), Colin Egan (0-01), Paddy Murphy; Dan Currams, Joe Bergin (1-03), Shane Dooley (0-05, 0-04f).
Subs: Conor Mahon for Murphy (30), Paddy Delaney for Spain (h/t), Ronan Hughes for Currams (h/t), Sean Ryan for Egan (58), Tommy Geraghty for Kinsella (68).