Kilkenny had wrapped-up a place in the semi-finals before a ball was even struck at Nowlan Park today, but they still let rip in this electric Ireland Leinster minor hurling championship third round match.
The draw earlier in the day between Wexford and Dublin meant the Cats were through to next month’s semis, but they showed Offaly no mercy as they hit the target 34 times.
Kilkenny simply took off following the throw-in. Early points from Billy Drennan, the sweet moving Liam Moore and Andy Hickey were followed by a goal from Jack Doyle in the eight minute.
Offaly were already 1-3 to no score behind. By the time they had their first score from a free by David Tooher in the 14th minute the winners had 2-5 on the ’board.
The gap rose to 2-8 to 0-2 in the 22nd minute after Timmy Clifford pointed for the Cats. Within five minutes Offaly hit back for a point from Luke Nolan and then a goal from Dan Murray, but Kilkenny and Timmy Clifford struck for a late goal to leave the Noresiders 3-11 to 1-4 clear at half-time.
It was more of the same in the second half, when four home subs joined in the scoring.
SCORERS: Kilkenny - Liam Moore (1-7); Timmy Clifford (2-2); Billy Drennan, Ian Byrne (0-4 each); Senan Doyle (1-1); Jack Doyle (1-0); Denis Walsh (0-3); Andy Hickey, Zach Bay Hammon, Aidan Tallis (0-2 each); James Aylward, Pierce Blanchfield (0-1 each). Offaly - Luke Nolan (0-5); Dan Murray (1-0); Charlie Mitchell (0-3); David Tooher (0-1).
Kilkenny - Alan Rafter; Billy Reid, William Halpin, Padraig Foley; Peter Mcdonald, Padraig Moylan, James Aylward; Andy Hickey, Denis Walsh; Colman O’Sullivan, Liam Moore, Zach Bay Hammond; Billy Drennan, Timmy Clifford, Jack Doyle. Subs - I Byrne for J. Doyle; Pierce Blanchfield for A Hickey; S Doyle for Drennan; A Tallis for Bay Hammon; J McNamara for O’Sullivan.
Offaly - Adam Fitzgerald; JJ O’Brien, Kelan Rigney, Conor Hardiman; Joe Ryan, Ronan Cleary, Joe Hoctor; Charlie Mitchell, Sam Burke; Jack Screeney, Luke Nolan, Sean Buckley; Niall Lyons, Dan Murray, David Tooher. Subs - Luke Wyer for S. Buckley; Luke Watkins for J. Hoctor; David Murray for D. Tooher; Luke Carey for J. Ryan; Paul Cleary for N. Lyons.
Referee - Caymon Flynn (Westmeath).