The clashes date all the way back to 1898

Kilkenny and Offaly met on 43 occasions in Leinster championship hurling, 41 times at senior level. The latter figure includes the All-Ireland final meeting of 1998, which was won by Offaly, and 2000 when Brian Cody guided the county to the first success in his reign.

Kilkenny and Offaly met on 43 occasions in Leinster championship hurling, 41 times at senior level. The latter figure includes the All-Ireland final meeting of 1998, which was won by Offaly, and 2000 when Brian Cody guided the county to the first success in his reign.

The first meeting was all of 115 years ago. It was 1898 on Jones Road when Kilkenny won by 4-13 to 1-5.

There were 20 meetings between 1898 and 1978 and the Cats won them all.

The 21st meeting turned into a big celebration for Offaly. It was on July 13, 1980. They beat the Noresiders in the Leinster final to claim their first provincial senior success.

Between 1980 and 20078 the counties met 21 times. The honours fell firmly in favour of the Cats, who won the series 14-6.

Overall Kilkenny have won 35 of the 42 Leinster championship meetings.

The last time Offaly or Kilkenny enjoyed home advantage when they clashed in Leinster was back in 1966. Kilkenny scored a 3-13 to 0-10 victory in St Brendan’s Park, Birr.

The Kilkenny scorers that famous day were Eddie Keher (0-9), Tom Walsh (2-0), Tommy O’Connell (1-0), Paddy Moran (0-2), Sean Buckley (0-2). The Cats never had things easy.