KILKENNY will be bidding to preserve their unique record in the GAA championships, hurling or football, when they do battle with ever dangerous Cork in the quarter-finals this weekend.
If the Cats can win through to the All-Ireland senior semi-finals they will preserve their 100% record of having appeared in the last four every season since the new championship format was introduced.
No other county, in hurling or football, has appeared in the All-Ireland semi-finals ever season since the backdoor system was introduced in 1997 when Clare beat Tipperary in the hurling final. That season the Noresiders were beaten by Clare in the semis by 1-17 to 1-13.
The preservation of what is a magnificent championship run that is rarely mentioned will be on the line for Kilkenny when Cork bid to dislodged them as All-Ireland champions in Thurles on Sunday (2pm). Brian Cody’s storm troopers are actually chasing a hard to credit 17th successive appeared in the All-Ireland championship semi-finals.
During the wonderful run to date the Noresiders have seen off Waterford, Tipperary, Galway, Clare, Cork and Wexford in semi-finals, most years after winning the Leinster championship. For the record, they faced Waterford four times in the semis, and won all four clashes.
The record against the other counties reads - Tipperary, played 3, won 3; Galway, played 3, won 1; Clare, played 3, won 2; Cork, played 2, won 2; Wexford, played 1, won 1.
The Cats had scary moments during the five match campaign, but the longer they hold on the greater the chance of getting everyone fit after a horrendous run of injuries.