THE door that could take them into the National Hurling League final swung wide open for Kilkenny at the weekend and they intend to dash through it......if they can, writes John Knox.
The Cats revived their chances of making the final while at the same time they scuppered Waterford’s hopes of making the cut when they showed grit and courage to win Sunday’s all action League tie at sun-kissed Nowlan Park.
“Things are nicely set up now,” beamed Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody after the defeat of the Suirsiders, coupled with title holders Galway’s win over Dublin, left the Cats and the defending champions at the top of the ’League ladder.
This weekend’s round of fixtures is vital, with Kilkenny facing Dublin on Saturday in Croke Park and Galway playing Tipperary in Pearse Stadium on Sunday. A win for Kilkenny and/or Galway would push them into the final, a round short of the finish.
Dublin, who suffered their first defeat at the weekend after shooting 19 wides and having a penalty saved, are still very much in the hunt.
“The clash has the makings of a great game,” added Mr Cody when speaking about the Dublin tie. “The potential was there for a great game anyway after they beat us in the Walsh Cup final a few weeks ago. They fairly slaughtered us in the first half that day.
“Dublin are playing very well. They are a serious outfit. They have a strong team. Saturday will be a serious, serious test.”
Anthony Daly’s team has really captured the imagination of the hurling public, and with so much on the line on Saturday, Croke Park could be rocking as the hurling tie (5.15pm) is played alongside the Football League match between Dublin and beaten All-Ireland finalists, Down (7.30pm). Jedward will form part of the entertainment on this most appealing Croker bill.
See Kilkenny People this week for full story.
Meanwhile, the Dublin County Board have said that tickets for Saturday evening’s NHL game between Dublin and Kilkenny in Croke Park are available from ticketmaster.ie, gaa.ie and usual outlets. Tickets cost €13 for an adult stand ticket, €10 for an adult terrace ticket and €5 for a child ticket.
Saturday night will be a double header with the Dublin Footballers taking on Down at 7.30pm with Jedward once again performing in between both games.