Kilkenny made to work hard for win


Kilkenny 0-13 NUI Galway 0-12: KILKENNY SELECTED a team from a senior development squad but did enough to grab a win over NUI Galway at a rain-sodden Freshford yesterday.

Kilkenny didn’t lead until the 53rd minute when a pointed free from John Power put them in front, 0-11 to 0-10, for the first time.

Points from Martin Gaffney and Power swelled the lead but a 65th-minute point from NUI’s Niall Burke left the minimum between the teams, while Burke went close to snatching a win but his 70th-minute free in front of goal went high and over the bar.

NUI looked the better team in the first half with Niall Burke scoring well, coupled with good performances from David Kenny and Eoin Fahy and points from Niall Burke (2) and Patrick Kelly. However, Power kept Kilkenny in touch via frees, levelling the game by the 16th minute. Back came NUI. Dean Higgins and Burke hit points, before a John Paul O’Connell point left them ahead by 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time.

The sides were locked at 10 points apiece by the final quarter before Power’s free on 53 minutes saw Kilkenny edge themselves into a lead they would never lose.

KILKENNY:D Breathnach; J Corcoran, W Phelan, B Kennedy; P Walsh, C Tobin, P O’Carroll; C Buckley, P Butler; J Power (0-9, 0-7, frees), L Harney, J Cassin (0-2); J Nolan, G Aylward, M Gaffney (0-2). Subs: C Walsh for Nolan (half-time); R Reid for Cassin (48 mins); P Gahan for Butler (56 mins); S Kearns for Aylward (56 mins).

NUI GALWAY:D Tuohy; D Magner, E Fahy, S McCormack; M Kelly, D Kenny, P Kelly (0-1); JP O’Connell (0-1), C Diviney; D Murphy, N Burke (0-6, 2 frees), D Higgins (0-1); R Shanahan, E O’Farrell, C Morey (0-3). Subs: A Armstrong for O’Farrell (43 mins); C Hynes for Murphy (53 mins).

Referee: D Hughes (Carlow).