KILKENNY CBS can’t wait for the All-Ireland colleges senior hurling championship semi-final against opponents as yet unknown, and St Kieran’s College were anything but downbeat after the all Kilkenny Leinster final at Nowlan Park on Sunday
Matt Ruth, Kilkenny CBS selector: “That was a great win for the school. We don’t often beat St Kieran’s in these big games, so it is nice to get this and to complete the League/Championship double.
“This is particularly nice after the disappointment of last year, when we lost the Leinster and All-Ireland finals by two points. Those defeats were hard to take. It is great to have something to show for our work this time.
We have 10 or 11 survivors from last year’s team. We lost a few of the guys who gave us a real physical presence, but we have a good spine to the team, and a fair few will be available next year also. The guys who felt the pain of defeat last year have been hurting for a long time and they were especially determined to do well this time. It is great for them.
“The team is improving all the time. We improved again today. In the previous two matches we didn’t really express ourselves. We did this time. Hopefully we can continue to improve.
Down to work
“Winning Leinster is great. I think we have three weeks now before the semi-final. We will get down working for that now and give it a good go. There is a great spirit and honesty among our panel.
“There are no big names there. There is a huge honesty in training and about everything they do. We had a few meetings to discuss what this was all about, and all the players bought into the same idea that they wanted to achieve something for the school.
“They bonded really well, and now we have something to show for that unity of purpose. They can be very proud of what they have achieved, a double in Leinster.”
Liam Smith, St Kieran’s College selector: “All credit to the CBS, they were good winners and we congratulate them on their double success. They were very good. They took their chances when they came their way.
“To be honest, we would have to say we didn’t perform as well as we might. We had four goal chances that we didn’t take them. You have to make the best of things like that.
“The challenge for us now is to pick ourselves up for the All-Ireland quarter-final in two weeks time against Our Lady’s of Templemore. The challenge is for us all, players and management.
Hurt into positive
“They are a great bunch of players. They are hurting now, but they are young and they will move on quickly from this disappointment. They have to turn this hurt into something positive. We gave a decent account of ourselves at times, but we didn’t finish well.
“The CBS earned the titles. They have been the form team all year. They are unbeaten in competitive hurling in Leinster. We like the All-Ireland series and we will regroup, and hopefully we will turn things around against Templemore.”