Kilkenny beat Waterford 2-21 to 1-15 in their Division One A National Hurling League clash at Walsh Park.
Kilkenny’s second half performance was too much for Waterford, who were competitive in the first half; ending the first 35 minutes just one point behind the visitors.
Matthew Ruth’s second goal of the game and a host of points from Richie Power, Richie Hogan and Eoin Larkin, to name a few, finished off Waterford in the second half.
The home side started on the back foot and were two points down before they got their first point of the game in the 9th minute through Maurice Shanahan.
Kilkenny led in the opening minutes thanks to points from Power, Larkin and TJ Reid but Waterford began to get into the game thanks to Shanahan’s 16th minute goal and three subsequent points from Tony Browne (2) and Seamus Prendergast put Waterford in the lead at 1-6 to 0-8.
Gavin O’Brien added another for Waterford before Kilkenny scored their first of the game when Matthew Ruth’s shot found its way past Ian O’Regan in the Waterford goal in the 27th minute to make it 1-8 to 1-7 to the travelling team.
The sides exchanged points through Power for Kilkenny and Martin O’Neill and Shanahan for Waterford before Power’s free in injury time put Kilkenny one point ahead going into the break.
The second half was truly a completely different story as Brian Cody seemed to light a fire under his side and Kilkenny were four points clear of Waterford with five minutes played of the second half, with points from Power and Richie Hogan.
Shanahan pulled a point back for Waterford before Richie Hogan scored his second point, followed by Matt Ruth’s second goal of the game put Kilkenny 2-14 to 1-10 up.
O’Neill grabbed another two points in the four minutes after the game but they were to be Waterford’s last for another 10 minutes as Kilkenny ran riot, with points scored by Michael Fennelly, Hogan, Ruth, Power and Larkin.
O’Neill finally scored again for Waterford in the 58th minute but more points from Reid and substitute John Mulhall; O’Neill pulled another back to leave the score at 2-21 to 1-14 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Waterford got one more point as they looked for another goal in the last few minutes of the game but Kilkenny’s defence saw out the remaining moments without conceding a second goal.
The reigning All-Ireland Champions took a while to get into their stride but whatever Cody said to his players at half time worked well as they looked head and shoulders above Waterford in the second half.