THE Kilkenny squad members may be falling like flies in the face of an unprecedented run of injuries, but a breaking point will never be reached.
No matter how many players fall to the curse of injury, there will always be replacments who must take on the challenge and drive on the team.
“A breaking point can’t exist,” insisted Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody, when it was suggested that the county must be close to breaking point because of the glut of injuries. “There can’t be a breaking point. We have a panel. There are plenty of hurlers in it. That is the way it works.
“When someone gets injured, someone else comes in and gets an opportunity. That is the way life in sports goes. That is the way we work with the panel.”
On Sunday Jackie Tyrrell (hamstring) and Paul Murphy (hamstring) joined the lengthening list of the walking wounded during the match. Neither will be fit to face Clare in Ennis on Sunday.
Before the game Richie Power and Conor Fogarty fell victim to the flu bug.
“We were tested very much,” Mr Cody admitted after the above mentioned joined the likes of Henry Shefflin, T.J. Reid, Michel Rice, Walter Walsh, Cillian Buckley and Michael Fennelly in the casualty ward. “Our panel is being tested, which is great to see. The team we had picked Richie Power (flu) was ruled out and Conor Fogarty was ruled out. He would be another option. Then we lost Jackie and we lost paul. It is a lot. It is a lot.
“That is when the rest of lads have to stand up and battle it out. We did that and we came out on the right side of things.”
During the closing 20 minutes Kilkenny were terrific, one suggesed.
“If we had less resolve than we had we would have been in big trouble,” Mr Cody said in reply. “There was a big challenge there. The ball was flying. Every tackle mattered; every score mattered; every hook, every block mattered. We came out on the right side and we are happy.
“If we were going to Clare without a point with two matches to play your interest in the League would be lessened. I don’t mean our interest in playing the match, but our ability to quality for the latter stages would be reduced massively.
“We are not throwing in the towel. We have given ourselves a bit of a lifeline and we will try and build on it. We want to win the League if at all possible. That is what we are about. At least now we have retained an interest by winning.”
Michael Fennelly (hamstring) might be available next weekend, but his chances are no more than 50/50. He is making good progress, Mr Cody suggested.
“We obviously needed to beat Waterford,” he continued. “We were without a point, so if we were going to retain any interested in the League we had to win. We did. For a long time it looked like we would find it very, very difficult to win. Waterford were playing well, but there was never very much in it.
“We kept in touch. Again goals matter. We didn’t coneded any and we got a couple. They helped us get the result. It was big challenge the whole way through. It was a good, tough, genuine game.
“The big things for us was to get a win and stay in touch with the rest. Thankfully we did that. If we had conceded a goal at any stage it would have been difficult. Teams are beating each other. It is a very tight League. It is going to be a bit of a dogfight to grab the third qualifying place.
“We are heading to Ennis to face Clare and they are flying. That will be interesting game,” he assured.
Meanwhile, Waterford manager Michael Ryan, couldn’t see how it ended up a five point game.
“You give away two goals like we did it is very hard to make it up,” he said in summary of the Waterford performance. “After the second goal Kilkenny were on the run. That was a crucial score.
“There was a lot of good hurling played. I was particularly delighted with our performance during the opening 20 minutes of the second half against the wind. Kilkenny got two early scores, but we came back to play some really good hurling.
Another big game
“The result went against us, but we have to drive on. There is another big game next week.
“Everyone is still in the mix in the League. It is going to be very competitive. Until the last ball is pucked in the preliminaries in two weeks time things will be in the melting pot. We have two home games now, and we have win them.
“The League is there for everyone. Tipperary will be coming to Walsh Park with two games won, and then Galway come after that. It is all about on the day. These games are won on the day. Unless you perform for the full 70, 72, 73, 75 minutes or whatever is played you won’t get a result.
“I would be optimistic,” he continued. “We are doing a lot of things right. We played a lot of good hurling. We will try and learn from our mistakes here. I am hugely optimistic about this team.”
PS - A bus will travel on Sunday from Delaney’s, Patrick’s Street. Departure 9am. Phone 056-7721287.