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Kilkenny fire six goals en route to 24-point hammering over Offaly in league quarter final

Brian Cody’s side are through to another league semi-final.

Walter Walsh in action today for Kilkenny against Offaly.
Walter Walsh in action today for Kilkenny against Offaly.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kilkenny 6-20
Offaly 0-14

Paul Keane reports from Nowlan Park

GOAL HUNGRY KILKENNY piled more misery on Offaly with a 24-point hammering to cruise through to the Allianz hurling league semi-finals.

Brian Cody experimented with his line-up and rested big guns TJ Reid and Richie Hogan though the All-Ireland champions were never troubled and wrapped up victory by half-time.

Colin Fennelly and Kevin Kelly scored first-half goals and Fennelly finished with 2-1 though limped off late on with an apparent hamstring injury.

There were other injury concerns for boss Cody too as Michael Fennelly was taken off early on with a hamstring twinge and Paul Murphy and Robert Lennon retired too.

Aside from that, it was as routine a victory as Kilkenny could possibly have hoped for and was all but secured by the 25th minute when they led by 15 points.

Offaly had hoped to capitalise on Kilkenny’s experimental nature but the opposite occurred as fringe Kilkenny players determined to impress made their mark in some style.

Kelly, who hit 2-1 against Tipperary here in Round 2, scored 1-3 early on and 1-7 in total while Colin Fennelly grabbed Kilkenny’s second goal in the 25th minute.

Like Kelly, Jonjo Farrell is fighting for a regular spot and was involved in the buildup for both goals. Liam Blanchfield slotted a fine score from out on the right wing too.

Offaly recovered late in the half with four points to trail 2-11 to 0-5 at the break but progression was already a lost cause.

Eamonn Kelly’s side open their Leinster championship qualifier series account on May 1 and outscored Kilkenny by four points to one early in the second-half.

But that was as good as it got with Fennelly’s second goal arriving in the 40th minute and John Power hitting Kilkenny’s fourth soon after.

Lester Ryan floated in a high ball that somehow skidded to the net for their fifth in the 62nd minute and Blanchfield wrapped up the goal blitz late on.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Kevin Kelly 1-7 (0-7f), Colin Fennelly 2-1, Liam Blanchfield 1-3, John Power 1-2, Lester Ryan 1-2, Michael Fennelly 0-2, Walter Walsh 0-1, Cillian Buckley 0-1, Conor O’Shea 0-1

Scorers for Offaly: Shane Dooley 0-6 (0-6f), Kevin Connolly 0-3, James Mulrooney 0-2, Paddy Murphy 0-1, Colin Egan 0-1, Joe Bergin 0-1

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge)
4. Shane Prendergast (Clara)

5. Conor O’Shea (Clara)
6. Kieran Joyce (Rower Initioge)
7. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)

8. Michael Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
9. Lester Ryan (Clara)

10. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
11. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Kevin Kelly (St Patrick’s)

13. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
14. Jonjo Farrell (Thomastown)
23. John Power (Carrickshock)

Subs
18. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for Lennon (7)
21. Diarmuid Cody (James Stephens) for M Fennelly (25)
17. Jackie Tyrrell (James Stephens) for Murphy (28)
26. Michael Malone (Mulliavat) for Cody (44)
25. Conor Martin (Emeralds) for Walsh (62)

Offaly

1. James Dempsey (Kinnity)

2. Niall Wynne (St Rynagh’s)
3. Dermot Shortt (St Rynagh’s)
4. Chris McDonald (Brosna Gaels)

7. Dermot Mooney (Seir Kieran)
6. Conor Doughan (Shinrone)
5. Pat Camon (St Rynagh’s)

8. Sean Ryan (Birr)
9. Kevin Connolly (Coolderry)

11. Colin Egan (Belmont)
12. Shane Kinsella (Kinnity)
10. Padraig Guinan (Drumcullen)

13. Shane Dooley (Tullamore)
14. Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran)
15. James Mulrooney (Seir Kieran)

Subs
19. Paddy Murphy (Ballinamere) for Guinan (29)
22. Cillian Kiely (Kilcormac-Killoughey) for Ryan (53)
24. Dan Kelleher (Brosna Gaels) for Shortt (53)
21. James Gorman (Kilcormac-Killoughey) for Kinsella (64)
17. Jason Sampson (Shinrone) for Doughan (68)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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Paul Keane

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