Kilkenny had two points to spare over the Déise in yesterday’s Allianz Hurling League Diviosn 1A game in UPMC Nowlan Park
After a shaky start that saw Tipperary beat the cats in their backyard for the first time since 2018, Kilkenny has qualified for this year’s league semi-final after winning four games on the bounce. Derek Lyng has been trying new players out in the league as he prepares to take his team for the first time into the Leinster Championship. The Déise were the visitors to UPMC Nowlan Park yesterday and conditions for the game were atrocious. Knowing that a draw would be good enough to qualify Kilkenny came away with the victory. It was a poor game of hurling overall with KCLR analyst Michael Walsh describing it as a challenge game at times, the quality of hurling was at a substandard level that you would not except from two experienced teams.
Kilkenny were forced to make three changes to the team before the start of the game. After Richie Reid and Cillian Buckley had picked up injuries against Dublin in the last game.
The Kilkenny team took a slim lead into the break with just one point between the sides with the Déise, in particular, driving some terrible wides and the stripey men were frustrating the visitors. Davy Fitzgerald also found himself in a spot of bother with referee Liam Gordon after he was yellow carded for the second weekend in a row after he had some words with linesman Simon Stokes who brought it to the referee’s attention.
Kilkenny held that lead, there were just two points between the teams heading into injury time but Waterford couldn’t breach the Kilkenny defense to claim a win and the reigning league champions were knocked out of the league and Kilkenny would march on to meet Cork at the weekend.
Speaking with KCLR’s Oisín Langan after the game, Lyng said “Tough game, conditions were tough! I was really happy with our attitude, I thought we fought really hard throughout the game, we really had to battle in the second half they got a run on us and got a couple of points ahead but we responded and that’s what it’s all about”.
“It gets us another tough game next weekend which is what we want, we’re testing the panel, lads are putting their hands up which is what we want before the championship”.
“Today our players were working so hard back the pitch, sometimes they look up the pitch and there mightn’t be anyone there, we have to be a little more composed in possession, it was tough conditions and Waterford found it hard as well, they played an extra man at the back which is always difficult to play against and they’re very used to that”.
“There’s lots of room for us to improve but that’s ok, I don’t expect us to be perfect and we’re far from that we have plenty to work on, I think we’ll improve and we’ll keep on improving once the attitude is right I’m happy “.
Listen back to full interview on Scoreline Extra below: