Waterford crumble as Ruth bares teeth for Cats
WATERFORD'S challenge crumbled in the second half as Kilkenny ran out 2-21 to 1-15 winners at Walsh Park.
The Cats made it two successive victories in Division 1A, with young forward Matthew Ruth scoring a goal in each half.
Veteran defender Tony Browne pointed twice as Waterford kept pace, trailing 1-10 to 1-9 at the break with Maurice Shanahan netting their goal.
However, accurate shooting from Richie Power, Richie Hogan and captain Eoin Larkin secured the spoils for the visitors. Shanahan was brought into the Waterford side for the injured Shane Walsh, with Browne and Liam Lawlor marshalling a defence still missing the sidelined Noel Connors.
In the second-half, Kilkenny's ability to score from long and short range gave them a match-winning cushion at 2-17 to 1-12. Several wides followed as the intensity dropped late on, yet a sideline cut from TJ Reid provided the final highlight as Kilkenny maintained their winning league start.
At Semple Stadium, Tipperary were level on no fewer than 14 occasions before they finally edged Galway in stoppage-time on a 2-20 to 2-18 scoreline.
Late points by substitute Johnny Ryan and Noel McGrath (free) enabled Tipperary to take their first league points of the season from a game so finely balanced all day that Galway were desperately disappointed not to have taken something out of it.
Their supporters in the crowd of 4,951 weren't enamoured with the performance of Cork referee Cathal McAllister, contending that many of the close calls went Tipperary's way. Galway selector Tom Helebert walked a diplomatic line on the subject afterwards.
"We felt one or two of the calls were, at best, marginal, but we didn't get them. We have to accept it and move on. When you're trying to come from where we're coming from and build a team, you need every break you can get," he said.
Galway could take plenty of positives from the manner in which their young team matched Tipperary in most of the key facets, with the exception of calmness under pressure.