Kilkenny completed their three game programme in the opening phase of the Leinster minor hurling championship by recording their third win, this time beating Laois in Portlaois this evening.
The results leave Kilkenny top of Tier 1, and when the action resumes next month they will enjoy the best of the draw against a Tear 2 team, but they will be playing away.
The winners were trap to line winners, but their best form was shown in the opening half when they played against the elements.
The winners led by 0-12 to 0-4 at the break. In the opening minute of the new half Laois grabbed a gaol through Cathal O'Shaughnessy and that was followed by a point from a free by Adam Kirwan.
The boost in confidence helped the losers raise their game, and while they didn't threatened the opposition seriously afterwards they did better than they had in the opening period.
Kilkenny had a 58th minute goal from sub Niall Higgins which inflated the divide between the teams, and the story was distored a little more as that goal was followed by points from the excellent Darragh Maher and Conor Kelly.
Easy moving Kilkenny took charge of the game from the off, although their early shooting wasn't great. They had points during the opening five minutes from the sweet moving Ciarán Brennan at full-forward and Conor Kelly (free), while registering four wides.
Laois missed a chance to open their account from a free shortly afterwards, which was one of three bad misses from set plays during the half. Centre-back Conor Congrove got the losers off the mark with a mighty point from an 80 metre free in the ninth minute, but two Kilkenny replies were posted by Jack Doyle and Kelly (0-4 to 0-1).
There was a lot to admire about Kilkenny's play, even at this early stage. They moved the ball fast, and their movement generally was very good, particularly Ciarán Brennan, who took his marker to all parts of the field.
Kilkenny slowly build up the points, to lead by 0-12 to 0-4 at the break after shooting seven wides. The biggest contributor was Brennan with three points.
SCORERS: Kilkenny - C. Kelly (0-9); C. Brennan (0-5); D. Maher (0-4); N. Higgins (1-0); E. Guilfoyle (0-3); J. Doyle, C. Kenny (0-2 each); J. Young (0-1). Laois - A. Kirwan (0-5); C. Cosgrove (0-4); M. Hennessy (0-3); C. O'Shaughnessy (1-0.
Kilkenny - J. Brennan; P. Dempsey, P. Moylan, K. Rudkins; S. Staunton, J. Young, H. Walsh; C. Kelly, D. Maher; C. O'Leary, C. Brennan, J. Morrissey; J. Doyle, C. Kenny, E. Guilfoyle. Subs - N. Higgins for Moylan; P. Donohoe for O'Leary; C. Korff for H. Walsh.
Laois - L. Fitzpatrick; K. Kelly, D. Brennan, B. Shore; A. Connolly, C. Cosgrove, T. Fitzpatrick; F. Mahoney, S. Farrell; C. O'Shaughnessy, T. Cuddy, E. Hawkes; A. Kirwan, M. Hennessy, D.J. Callaghan. Subs - C. Byrne for Callaghan; N. Carey for Shore; N. Bennett for Hawkes; C. Walsh for Kirwan.
Referee - G. McGrath (Wexford).
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.