Kilkenny are second in Group 1 after defeating Waterford 2-12 to 0-14 in a humdinger at Carriganore on Sunday.
Sensational teenager Beth Carton shot three of her 13 points as hosts Waterford moved 0-4 to 0-1 ahead but a Miriam Walsh goal brought the champions back into it and a couple of points from Julieann Malone helped them into a 1-5 to 0-5 lead at the break.
It was nip and tuck for most of the second half, Carton keeping Waterford in touch primarily from placed balls, but Kilkenny were able to introduce a player of the calibre of All-Ireland winning captain Michelle Quilty, who didn’t take long to get on the scoresheet.
Denise Gaule’s goal decided the tie, giving Kilkenny enough breathing space to hold off their neighbours, who scored the last three points in a spirited late rally.
Reporting Daragh O Conchuir.