Sunday brings with it the return of ‘The King.’
Henry Shefflin makes the trip to UPMC Nowlan Park as Galway manager with his side up against Kilkenny in the second round of the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship.
You can hear full live commentary from 2pm on KCLR with Brendan Hennessy and two-time All-Ireland winner Michael Walsh, with our coverage beginning with former Kilkenny player Kieran Joyce from 1.30pm.
Victory for either county would see them move ahead of their opponents and reach the summit of the table with three games remaining.
While it is a highly anticipated tie, both teams know that the ultimate goal will be to end their respective waits for an All-Ireland title.
One man that knows about leading teams to the Liam MacCarthy Cup is Cyril Farrell.
The three-time All-Ireland winning manager with Galway looked ahead to Sunday’s encounter when he spoke to KCLR’s Scoreline.
As well as giving his thoughts on Kilkenny and Galway, Farrell gave his opinion on modern hurling and the “saturated” nature of punditry.
He began: “Any time Kilkenny and Galway meet it’s always a good game. It will tell us a lot about where both teams are at. Kilkenny are building a new team, especially up front. They have players that have been around for a while but they’re relatively young. They also have experienced players who have returned in the backs and if they have everyone, they’re going to be very strong.
“There’s no doubt that Kilkenny will contend for the All-Ireland. They’re very hard to beat and if you think back to last year, there was only a puck of the ball between themselves and Limerick, so I think they’ll be right up there again.”
On Henry Shefflin: “I think Henry Shefflin would be very happy with the win against Wexford. He’ll be happy to have the two points going down to Nowlan Park and after that game he’ll have a better understanding of where they’re at. What they’re planning on doing this year is getting straight to a Leinster final and win it so that they get into the All-Ireland semi-final. You’re going to meet Munster teams who are very strong, but it will be a knockout game which is a different thing.”
Farrell also stressed the importance of the provincial championship for both sides.
“Winning the Leinster title is big for both counties. It will tell you a bit on Sunday, but it will be more of a learning process for both teams and we’ll know about their chances after the Leinster final which I expect will be between Kilkenny and Galway. It will be a tight game on Sunday and both teams would love to win but they’ll probably learn as much about their teams by losing as they would if they won.
“There’s no pressure on Henry Shefflin this year but it’s big for him to rectify what happened in last year’s Leinster final. That will certainly be the aim.”
You can listen to the full interview on KCLR this Saturday from 5pm.
KCLR is the only place where you can hear all of Kilkenny’s games in the Leinster championship and All-Ireland series in 2023.