John McVitty/INPHO Kilkenny's Cian Kenny with Antrim's Joe Maskey.
# Wrap
Strong finish sees Kilkenny beat Antrim to hand Lyng winning start in league
Billy Drennan top-scored for the Cats with 1-8 at a wet and windy Corrigan Park.

KILKENNY SAW OFF a spirited Antrim side to hand Derek Lyng a win in his first Allianz National League game as manager.

Billy Drennan top-scored for the Cats with 1-8 as they pulled clear to record a 1-18 to 0-15 Division 1 win at a wet and windy Corrigan Park.

Drennan’s goal midway through the first half proved crucial as the home side made life uncomfortable for Kilkenney in the second period.

As the game entered the final five minutes Antrim had clawed the deficit back to just two points but a late flurry of scores – including points from Drennan, Martin Keoghan and Billy Ryan – kept the Saffrons at bay.

Antrim had to weather an early storm, with goalkeeper Ryan Elliott called on to make a couple of important saves, before Drennan’s goal after 14 minutes gave Kilkenny some breathing room.

However the home side stayed in touch, with Conal Cunning – who finished with eight points – nailing four first-half frees.

A Martin Keoghan point shortly before the break saw Kilkenny take a  1-10 to 0-9 lead into half-time.

Kilkenny made a strong start to the second period but both sides struggled to handle the conditions as the wind and rain picked up.

Antrim had opportunites to close the gap as the game entered the closing stages but saw a series of shots fly off target in the strong winds, Kilkenny finishing strongly to hand Lyng a winning start in the league.

NFL Division 3:

Down 2-18 Antrim 1-17

NFL Division 4:

Waterford 0-10 Carlow 1-11  

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