Cats shoot down Rebels and get National League campaign off to a flier
Kilkenny 2-18 Cork 0-17
GOALS in both halves from Inistioge-Rower man Richie Leahy and Graigue Ballycallan’s Billy Ryan secured a comfortable victory for the Cats against the Rebels.
The defending National League champions got their campaign off to a flier at Nowlan Park.
Despite making a bright start, Cork’s challenge petered out fairly early in the second half as Kilkenny stepped up a gear and had their opponents firmly in the rear-view mirror for the remainder of the game.
Kilkenny led by just one point at half time, but Brian Cody won’t have been happy with his side’s conversion rate.
Leahy’s 27th minute goal was only their second score from play and the first by a forward. Leahy had come in for Ger Malone after the Mullinavat man was stretchered off after a collision.
Kilkenny only edged out in front by the 21st minute but they were always in control by the time the second half got underway.
When Ryan fired home in the 41st minute the goal was quickly followed by a Conor Delaney point and there was no way back for Cork as the Cats laid down an impressive marker for the rest of the campaign.
KILKENNY: E Murphy, P Murphy, H Lawlor, T Walsh, C Delaney, P Deegan, E Morrissey, J Maher, C Fogarty, J Donnelly, B Ryan, G Malone, G Aylward, K Kelly, L Scanlon. Subs – R Leahy for Malone inj (18 mins), C Browne for Maher (45 mins), L Blanchfield for Scanlon (57 mins), P Lyng for Aylward (64 mins).
CORK: A Nash, S McDonnell, D Cahalane, C O’Sullivan, C Joyce, T O’Mahony, S O’Donoghue, C Cahalane, C Murphy, D Kearney, D Dalton, L Meade, J Coughlan, A Walsh, P Horgan. Subs – J O’Connor for Coughlan (half-time), C Lehane for C Cahalane (43 mins), D Lowney for O’Sullivan (52 mins), M O’Halloran for Meade (63 mins).
Referee: J Owens (Wexford).