Despite a spirited second half display that saw them recover from six points behind, Kilkenny could not continue the fightback as they were eventually defeated by Galway in UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday afternoon.
A Julianne Malone goal looked as though it would see Brian Dowling’s side claim a victory but the league champions refused to hand their momentum to the hosts as they grinded out a win.
Galway were the better team in the opening period with Carrie Dolan frees, the impressive Ailish O’Reilly (0-02) and scores from Aoife Donohue, Aine Keane and Sabina Rabbitte giving them a 0-07 to 0-10 lead at half-time.
Kilkenny needed more all across the pitch in the second half with Malone and Denise Gaule leading the charge for the All-Ireland champions.
However, they got off to the worst possible start when O’Reilly slotted past goalkeeper Emma Kavanagh as the Tribeswomen took control of the game.
Asha McHardy, Gaule and Jenny Clifford replied for Kilkenny before Malone grabbed a superb goal to give her side a one-point lead.
It was Galway who would come out on top however, as their attacking efficiency proved key in securing a victory after last weekend’s defeat to Tipperary.
For Kilkenny, the search for a win goes on with Dublin next up.