Kilkenny face must-win Sunday in Waterford

THE MESSAGE is simple for Kilkenny’s Oscar Traynor team - win on Sunday, or they can wave goodbye to their title dreams.

THE MESSAGE is simple for Kilkenny’s Oscar Traynor team - win on Sunday, or they can wave goodbye to their title dreams.

The Cats will travel to Ozier Park to play the Waterford League (kick-off 2pm) knowing that victory is a must if they are to have any hope of making the quarter-finals of the national competition.

“We’ll have to go to Waterford and give it everything we have,” said Kilkenny manager Ollie Walsh ahead of the crunch tie. “We have to win our game and then wait and see what the outcome is when Wexford play Waterford in round three. It’s a far from ideal situation, but it is what it is.”

The Cats have not made any changes to their squad ahead of Sunday’s game. Niall Andrews, Cormac O’Driscoll and Derek Brennan were among the absentees for the 3-2 loss to Wexford, but Walsh expects his side to be at full strength as no new injuries have been reported.

He also anticipates a strong challenge from Waterford, who beat Kilkenny 2-0 in Scanlon Park last season.

“Waterford will have a strong side and with Alfie Hale in charge they will be tough to beat,” he said. “However, I’d like to think we have a stronger side this time around. While I would have liked to have more time with the squad, perhaps play more friendlies, we will use this week well to prepare for the game.”

Kilkenny & District League Oscar Traynor squad: Graham Doyle, Pierce Dargan, Michael Falsey, James Kelly, Derek Brennan, Mathew Wong, Lee Delaney, Tommy Earls, Robert Skehan, Brian Jordan, Niall Andrews, Chris Whearty, Declan McQuillan, Michael Comerford, Ger Hayes, Edward Nugent, Stephen Connolly, Cormac O’Driscoll, Joe Mulcahy, Jamie Owens, Damien Raggett, Aiden Keenan.

Meanwhile in local news Freebooters marched into the next round of the Leinster Junior Cup thanks to a comprehensive win at the weekend.

Dublin AUL side Ayrefield were no match for Sean Doyle’s side and went down 4-2 at the Fair Green on Sunday. Scorers for the Blues were strike duo Dessie Hayes (2) and Greg Morton while midfielder Michael Comerford was also on the mark for the club on his return from Clonmel Town.

In the Premier Division there was a big win for the Lions, who beat Bridge United 4-0 in Durrow. In the battle of the newly-promoted sides, the hosts prevailed thanks to a Michael Dooley brace, as well as goals from Kevin Shortall and Darren Lynch.

Elsewhere Fort Rangers grabbed their first league win of the season when they beat Evergreen B 2-1 in Wallslough.

Despite missing eight players due to hurling commitments and injury, Fort got off to a flyer when they took the lead on the quarter hour, as Jim Nugent headed home from an Edward Nugent corner. Edward Nugent was also involved in his side’s second goal five minutes later when he was fouled in the box, giving John Brett the chance to make it 2-0 from the spot. Adrian Kealy hit back for the visitors before half-time, but Fort held firm to record their first top flight win of the new campaign.