Kilkenny goalkeeper, Eoin Murphy
Kilkenny's season turned in round two of the National Hurling League, and now Brian Cody's troops take on Dublin in the opening series of the Leinster Round Robin series chasing their seventh win on the trot.
The Cats lost their early games in the League against Cork and Clare. However, team changes and the introduction of subs after 20 minutes of the latter clash turned the season for Kilkenny, who went on an unbeaten run which finished with them winning the title by beating Tipperary in the final.
While beating Tipperary in the decider and Wexford away before that were huge results, star goalkeeper Eoin Murphy felt the biggest moment came against Clare in Match 2.
Kilkenny were “a bit of a shambles” during the opening 20 minutes of that match, Murphy felt, but then management made changes and introduced a number of subs.
Suddenly Kilkenny were a new team.
“The turning point in the season so far was the closing 40 minutes or so against Clare,” Eoin said with assurance. “The changes seemed to settle things after that. I made a mistake that day and it was costly.
“It was the three point difference in the end, but I couldn’t let it affect me. You have to move on and be confident in your own ability. From there on things changed for us.
"From there on we appeared to get a foothold in games and impose ourselves on opponents. Now we have to take the next step.”
The next assignment for Kilkenny is the Leinster championship clash against Dublin in Parnell Park on Sunday (2pm).
Murphy admitted Parnell Park presented its own challenges, with tight sideline areas and the crowd almost in on top of the players.
“In other inter-county grounds you have a gap between the sideline and the stands, like in Thurles, for example,” he said when asked about the grounds. “It will be a fiercely partisan crowd there.
“I was talking to Eoghan O’Donnell (Dublin player) months ago and he was saying they were hoping to have their home games in Parnell Park. They feel that is their natural hurling grounds.
“You cannot be afraid of any challenge. You have to meet everything head on.
“Parnell Park is a tough place to go. The first game is massive in terms of building momentum for Leinster, so the challenge won’t be easy. It won't e easy at all. It never is against the Dubs.”
Eoin Murphy was talking at the official launch of the Leinster championship.