HL 1A: Cats show Waterford no mercy

March 23, 2014

Kilkenny's Eoin Larkin with Michael Walsh of Waterford.
©INPHO/Tommy Grealy.
Kilkenny rolled back the years to whack Waterford by 20 points at Nowlan Park, 4-22 to 0-14.

The result means that the holders march through to the quarter-finals of the league, where they will face Wexford, while Waterford will take on Dublin in the Division 1A relegation play-off.

Jonjo Farrell's 20th-minute goal gave the winners a 1-7 to 0-8 lead at half time but they really stepped on the gas after the restart to run out convincing winners.

In a late change to the Waterford starting team, Austin Gleeson came in at corner forward for his first competitive start at senior intercounty level, replacing Jake Dillon. The winners welcomed back a few familiar faces today and they looked impressive once they got into their stride.

Pauric Mahony's free got the visitors up and running and Jamie Barron doubled the gap before Henry Shefflin dragged a long-range free to the left of the posts. Mahony stretched the gap from another free and Shefflin's next effort flew to the right and wide.

The Decies survived a goalmouth scramble in the ninth minute and Shefflin uncharacteristically missed his third successive free as the Black & Amber remained without a score inside the opening twelve minutes.

Colin Fennelly finally opened the Cats' account in the 16th minute and Shefflin followed up with a lovely point from play 60 seconds later. On 18 minutes, Shefflin took his point from a close-range free following Michael Walsh' high tackle on Eoin Larkin.

In the 20th minute, the Waterford defence was caught snoozing. Larkin went down under pressure and everybody in white switched off as the former Hurler of the Year - lying in the ground - played a pass in to Mark Kelly, whose effort was saved by Stephen O'Keeffe before Jonjo Farrell found the net from the rebound - 1-3 to 0-3.

Walter Walsh made it 1-4 without reply for Brian Cody's charges but Mahony kept the visitors ticking over with two pointed frees, the second sailing over with tremendous accuracy from great distance. Fennelly steadied the Noresiders again with a fantastic point on the run.

Shane O'Sullivan's scorching point was cancelled out by Fennelly's third point on the half hour: 1-6 to 0-7. Substitute Ray Barry reduced the arrears to the minimum a minute from the break but Richie Hogan replied as the Cats carried a two-point advantage into the interval.

Larkin lashed Kilkenny's second goal to the roof of the net after taking a pass from substitute Richie Power. Moments earlier, Gleeson had clipped over a beautiful Waterford point from a sideline cut.

Brian O'Sullivan thumped over a tenth Waterford point but Shefflin responded with a lovely point from play - 2-9 to 0-10 after seven minutes of the second half.

Fennelly and Walsh added more Kilkenny scores either side of a Barry point and a Shefflin free meant that seven points separated the teams after 46 minutes. Power quickly tagged on another one…

The third goal arrived from the hurl of Mark Kelly in the 48th minute - 3-13 to 0-11 - and the Cats were purring now as Power and Hogan pointed to stretch the gap to 13 points.

Waterford No.26 Barry stroked over his third point of the day. The Shefflin radar was working again as Henry smacked over a long-range free and Power laid a fourth Cats goal on a plate for Kelly at the three-quarters stage: 4-16 to 0-12.

Larkin added to Walter Walsh's third point as the one-way traffic continued and Hogan also claimed his third score before heroically leaving the fray with a gash in his forehead - 4-19 to 0-12.

Shefflin nailed a brace of frees to leave 21 between the teams and Brian O'Sullivan traded late points with Larkin; there was time for Barry to register his fourth for the away team but it was a day to forget for Waterford.

Kilkenny - E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Holden; B Kennedy (0-1), J Tyrrell, C Buckley; P Walsh, R Hogan (0-3); W Walsh (0-3), C Fennelly (0-4), H Shefflin (0-7, 5f); JJ Farrell (1-0), M Kelly (2-0), E Larkin (1-2). Subs: R Power (0-2) for JJ Farrell, K Joyce for B Kennedy, L Ryan for W Walsh, TJ Reid for R Hogan.

Waterford - S O'Keeffe; T de Burca, S Fives, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, Philip Mahony; K Moran, S O'Sullivan (0-1); J Barron (0-1), Pauric Mahony (0-5f), S Molumphy; M Shanahan, B O'Sullivan (0-2), A Gleeson (0-1sl). Subs: B Couglan for J Nagle, R Barry (0-4) for M Shanahan, S Prendergast for A Gleeson, R Donnelly for J Barron.

Referee - J Owens.

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