Kilkenny and Wexford prevail in minor hurling championship openers
Offaly trounce Meath while Westmeath prove too strong for Carlow
Dublin’s Donal Leavy comes under pressure from Cian Kenny and Conor Kelly of Kilkenny at Parnell Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Kilkenny got their Leinster Minor Hurling Championship campaign up and running with an impressive 3-23 to 4-12 success against Dublin in Parnell Park yesterday.
In a thoroughly absorbing tie, Dublin got off to a fine start with Luke Swan netting but the visitors replied well thanks to points from Cian Kenny and Jack Morrissey before Cathal O’Leary netted to hand them the initiative.
The half continued in an open fashion with Swan and George Murphy trading goals as Kilkenny entered the break with a 2-10 to 2-7 interval advantage.
The excellent Conor Kelly added three points in the early stages of the second-half to double his team’s lead but Dublin drew level by the 55th minute thanks to goals from Liam Dunne and Swan’s third of the match.
However, they failed to build on those scores and after Ciaran Brennan struck a sublime goal, Kelly added five unanswered scores to complete the victory.
On Saturday afternoon, the remaining Tier 1 encounter saw Wexford finish strongly in the final quarter to hold off Laois by 1-21 to 0-18 at Innovate Wexford Park.
TJ Redmond proved their key marksman as he accrued 13 points over the hour as the hosts enjoyed a 0-13 to 0-11 interval lead.
Laois fought back to level matters thanks to points from Adam Kirwan, Conor Cosgrove and Mark Hennessy but the pivotal moment arrived in the 46th minute as Owen Whitty fired home from close range after fine approach play by Thomas Murphy.
Westmeath were another side to start off on a winning note as a brace of second-half goals from David Devine saw them pull away by Carlow on a 2-15 to 0-9 scoreline.
In Newbridge, Kildare atoned for a sloppy first-half showing in which they conceded four goals by defeating Antrim by 2-17 to 4-7.