By Peter Nolan
Kilkenny 3-21, Offaly 4-11
In the middle of an afternoon of fine football, Kilkenny and Offaly did their best to hold up hurling’s end of the bargain, with Kilkenny taking this senior encounter 3-21 to 4-11 Sunday at Gaelic Park.
It was all Cats in the first half, as midfielder Vinny Norton led his side to a 2-12 to 0-6 halftime lead. Offaly had a number of new faces in the lineup, but nothing clicked in the opening half and goals from Kevin Corbett and Anthony Power gave Kilkennny a comfortable advantage at the break.
The Cats got word Thursday night that the points from the Westmeath game would go to Westmeath, so they wanted this one badly. But Offaly raised their effort in the second half. Eamon Coleman and Sean Nolan led the charge from midfield, but Kevin McKay and center back Dan Kenney, and the steady veteran Richie Hogan, responded in kind for Kilkenny. Offaly got goals from Coleman and Paul Carroll, but McKay’s fortunate goal killed any real Offaly chance after the Faithful County had pulled to within 0-7.
Man of the Match: Richie Hogan.
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Kilkenny: Michael Collins, Brendan Ryan, Johnathan Doyle, Jerome Edge, Dan Kinney, Richie Hogan (0-1), Vinnie Norton (0-6), Darren Dougherty (0-1), Kevin McKay (1-2), Gary Quinlan (0-4), Kevin Corbett (1-0), Damien Mason (0-7), Anthony Power (1-0).
Offaly: Paddy Donoghue, Brian Gath, Mike Dolan, John Hanlon, Enda Condren, Brian Delaney, Eamon Coleman (1-1), Niall Marshall, Dan Coughlan (0-1), Sean Nolan, Ed Flynn (0-1), Conor Gath (1-5), Paul Carroll (1-3). Subs: John Kelly, Noel Coghlan (1-0).