St Patrick's manager, Jim Lyng (right)
Provincial title-chasing St Patrick’s have proven time and time again they are a good hurling team.
Now they must bring consistency to their performances insisted generally pleased manager, Jim Lyng (pictured left) after they booked a place in the Leinster club intermediate hurling final.
The North Kilkenny crew did well in general when overcoming the challenge of Meath senior side Kiltale in Saturday’s semi-final.
“At our best we played really well,” insisted manager Lyng.
“In the first half we moved very smoothly. I was very happy with the way things were going.
“When we are at our best we can be really good. The players have great skill. It is probably the consistency level over 60 minutes where we can do better.
“Consistency of performance is what we are chasing now. There are times when we look the real deal.
“Then there are times when we make things difficult on ourselves by coughing up easy scores or giving away needless fouls.
“However, we are moving in the right direction. This is a great journey for the players. They are enjoying it and they want more.”
On Saturday week at Nowlan Park the Kilkenny champions will get a chance to get more when they play Glenealy (Wicklow) in the Leinster final.
This is a huge chance for St Patrick’s to add their name to the provincial honours list, something they did at junior level in 2012 on the way to winning the All-Ireland.
“It would be a happy Christmas if we can win it,” the manager smiled.
“We won’t take Glenealy for granted. There is a great opportunity there if we can take it. We will be going in to do our very, very best and we will give the opposition the full respect they deserve.”
While St Patrick’s never felt the heat of the opposition breathing down their necks, they were put under pressure by Kiltale in the second half when they appeared to take the foot off the throttle.
“To be fair to Kiltale, they cut the supply to our attack in the second half and they got the supply to their attack, particularly the full-forward line which caused us trouble,” Jim Lyng pointed out.
“They got two goals and they might have had another only for a fantastic Michael Gannon save.
“He also brought off an important save early on. He made two crucial interventions. If we had conceded a goal at the start, or early in the second half, who knows.”
For the final the hope is that Brian ‘Brook’ Phelan will be back to full fitness, and that John Mooney might be available too after injury.
There will be no heavy push to change things, however.
“We give the players the freedom to play,” Lyng reminded. “They are talented hurlers.
“We don’t try and keep them to any rigid system. The forwards rotate positions a lot.
“They seem comfortable doing that, playing on the full or half forward lines, and we leave them at it,” he concluded.