Kilkenny senior hurling manager Brian Cody says this year’s Bord na Móna Walsh Cup campaign has been good preparation for this year’s Allianz Hurling League.
In a close game at times, Kilkenny edged Galway by two points to seal the 2017 Walsh Cup with a win at Nowlan Park on Sunday afternoon, the cats running out 0-20 to 0-18, thanks in no small part to captain for the day, Richie Hogan, who clocked up 0-11 for the Cats.
Ollie Walsh (0-3) also impressed for Kilkenny, with Lester Ryan (0-2), Conor Martin, Pat Lynch, Conor Fogarty and Kieran Joyce (0-1 each) also getting on the scoresheet. Jason Flynn (0-6) lead the scoring for Galway.
Adrian Ronan spoke with Brian Cody following today’s result, but was the man in charge happy with the result?
“Look, it was the Walsh Cup that was on today, that’s the competition we’re playing in so, absolutely.”
“You’d much prefer to win it if at all possible you know? We’ve got good games from the Walsh Cup at this stage now, heading into the league next Sunday, so it was good preparation.”
The Bord na Móna Walsh Cup has become a testing ground for all counties, giving them a chance to blood new players, suss out candidates for the league campaign and see how players have been coming through winter training. For Cody, while the youth is there, the experienced players still lead the way and drive the team on.
“That’s the way it should be. It shouldn’t be anything else, for certain. When they (those in the jersey a few seasons) came into the team as newcomers, the experienced players brought them along too so that’s the responsibility they have to take on board and in fairness, they did it well.”
“We’ve had to bring in players, we have to develop players, we have to bring players into the panel. There’s obviously been a huge turnover of players in the last few years but I’ll always be very certain of the fact that there are very good players around the county. Bringing them in is a huge step up, but they respond to it very well. ”
With 4,000 in the stands today, there could be as many as 10,000 in attendance for the league opener against Waterford this coming Sunday.
“It’s a terrific game obviously. With the semi-final last year, two games, and Waterford will certainly be coming all guns blazing. But that’s great, it’s a really competitive league and to win the first couple of games or to certainly not lose is very, very important but it’s going to be a huge battle next Sunday.”
If you missed any of the game, you’ll be able to listen back to full commentary and analysis with Michael O’Leary and Adrian Ronan on KCLR Fanzone from Monday.
With Waterford on their way to Nowlan Park on Sunday to start the Allianz Hurling League, we’ll have full commentary on air and online, keeping you in touch with every puck of the ball.
Kilkenny team v Galway: Eoin Murphy, Joey Holden, Robert Lennon, Michael Walsh, Kieran Joyce, Paul Murphy, Conor Fogarty (Conor O’Shea), Ollie Walsh, Lester Ryan, Pat Lyng, Conor Martin, Michael Malone, Richie Hogan, Jonjo Farrell, Riche Leahy (Sean Morrissey).