THE quest to lift the Kennedy Cup became all the more real after the Kilkenny & District League learned who they would face in the group stages of this year’s competition.
The tournament, which sees 32 leagues pitted against each other over five days of competition at the University of Limerick, has given Kilkenny a good draw following their success in 2012.
The Cats, who were coached by Gary Maher, were red hot when it came to scoring last year. They hit the net 24 times in seven games, including five against Waterford in the Plate final, where the scorers were Chris Nolan (2), team captain Dara Keane, Emmet Coakley and Craig Hayes.
Kilkenny were one of the top seeds when it came to drawing the groups, the Cats earned a sixth place grading following that Kennedy Plate success last Summer.
Drawn in Group Eight, Kilkenny will begin their campaign against Drogheda at 7pm on Monday, June 10.
Their second game is against North Tipperary at 12 noon on June 11, before rounding off their group with a game against Dundalk that evening at 7pm.
The knockout stages of the competition take centre-stage on Wednesday, June 12, with the quarter-finals for the Cup, Bowl, Shield and Trophy all down for decision. Teams who finish fourth in the groups will compete in the Trophy quarter-finals at 1pm, the same time as the Bowl quarter-finals for group runners-up. The Shield quarter-finals will be played at 3pm between teams who finished third in their groups, the same time as the Kennedy Cup quarter-finals. Losers here will go into the Plate competition, the event Kilkenny won for the second time in the league’s history last year.
The Kennedy Cup will come to a close on Friday, June 14, when all five finals will be played across the University’s vast sports campus.
Manager Darren Murray will continue to prepare for the tournament between now and then by working with the following squad: Cole Walker, Jack Foley (Bridge United); Dylan Doyle, Brandon McGinley (Clover United); Niall Brazil, Sam Hickey, Ethan Butler (Evergreen); Ryan Scanlon, Eoin Wall, Sean Ryan, Conor Flynn (Freebooters); Calvin Brophy (Freshford Town); Mitchell Maher (Highview Athletic); Ben Maher, Jordan Molloy, Ryan Poyntz, Ronan Buckley (Ormonde Villa); Edward O’Neill (Paulstown 06); Rory Monks, David Griffin, Daithi Barron, Adrian Mullen, Colm Whelan, Eoin Kineally (Thomastown United).