Cody’s Kilkenny spoil Carlow’s party

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[team1]Carlow [/team1][score1]1-14[/score1]



Carlow’s first home game in this year’s Leinster senior hurling championship may have made for a heartwarming tale but Kilkenny have never been ones for romance or fairytales.

This one was never in the balance.

The ultimate size of the winning margin was always within the compass and at the whim of Brian Cody’s side and they made the short trip back home across the border this afternoon on the back of a bloodless day’s work.

It is a victory that, on the back of last week’s opening defeat of Dublin in Nowlan Park, leaves them on the precipice of a place in the All-Ireland series – and the provincial final to boot. Not bad for nine day’s work.

Kilkenny have a long and ruthless tradition of going for the jugular as soon as the referee’s whistle lets them off the leash and it took them just 18 seconds to puncture any sense of hope and optimism here.

Cody’s Kilkenny spoil Carlow’s party

The damage was done by Colin Fennelly whose goal would be followed by a point from play before he limped off 27 minutes in. The only other malfunction for the Cats was an attack which leeched 13 wides in that opening period.

Ten of them had been recorded by the 20th minute but it was an irrelevance here as they did as they pleased with a Carlow side that just couldn’t gain possession never mind parity for vast swathes of the play.

The score at the break was 3-9 to 0-3 with TJ Reid, unsurprisingly, standing out not just as Kilkenny’s main scorer but as the man with most fingerprints on general play. The wonder was how he kept finding such room in which to operate.

It all amounted to an unfortunate turn of events for the home side who had been so competitive away to Galway the week before and were now welcoming their neighbours to their domain for only the second time in their championship history.

Carlow did at least respond in the best way possible after the break, scoring 1-5 to Kilkenny’s single point in the opening dozen minutes with James Doyle’s well-taken goal from a botched Marty Kavanagh free the obvious highlight.

Cody’s Kilkenny spoil Carlow’s party

Eight points still separated the sides, after all that though, and the faintest sniff of anything resembling a shift of continental proportions was averted as Kilkenny recovered their composure and primacy on the scoreboard.

Scorers for Carlow: M Kavanagh (0-5, 3 frees); J Doyle (1-1); C Nolan (0-3, 1 free); S Murphy (0-2); B Tracey (0-1 free); D English, J Kavanagh (both 0-1).

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid (1-12, 1-0 pen, 1 ’65’, 7 frees); G Aylward (1-1); C Fennelly 1-1); A Murphy and J Donnelly (both 0-2); A Mullen, W Walsh, B Ryan and R Leahy (all 0-1).

Carlow: B Tracey; K McDonald, P Doyle, M Doyle; R Coady, D English, E Nolan; 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 Byrne (50); J Murphy for Whelan (64); D Byrne for J Kavanagh (66); R Smithers for J Doyle (69).

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 (50); J Cleere for Deegan (54); M Keoghan for Leahy (62).

Referee: A Kelly (Galway).

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