Kilkenny have claimed their first win of the O’Neills.com Leinster U20 Hurling Championship after a two-goal defeat of Galway in Glenisk O’Connor Park on Saturday afternoon.
Billy Drennan was on top form for the Cats as he helped himself to 2-12 to guide his team to a crucial result following last weekend’s loss to Wexford.
The Galmoy forward got his first goal after seven minutes to nudge the All-Ireland champions ahead, but it was Galway who took control of the first half from there on in as free-taker Liam Collins showcased his abilities from dead ball situations.
Rory Burke, Seán O’Hanlon and Tiernan Killeen moved them further ahead before a brilliant goal from Darren Shaughnessy gave the Tribesmen a 1-08 to 1-01 lead.
The comeback began when Drennan expertly executed a penalty and slotted over a free to reduce the deficit to three points at the interval, Galway 1-12 to 2-06 Kilkenny.
A close encounter turned in favour of Kilkenny once the second half got underway with nine unanswered points from Timmy Clifford, Harry Shine and a cluster of frees from Drennan propelling them into a healthy lead.
Both sides continued to exchange points in an entertaining affair that was sparsely attended on a mild afternoon in Tullamore.
A third goal for Kilkenny from Dicksboro’s Clifford increased the advantage and despite Galway’s best efforts, several well-taken scores along with two late goals from substitute Cillian Hackett and Gearoid Dunne sealed a deserved victory.
Kilkenny complete their round-robin games with a clash against Dublin next, while Galway will be hoping to finish on a high when they face Wexford.