Graigue Ballycallan came into Saturday’s fixture against Shamrocks on a high, after beating Bennettsbridge in the second round.
The win in the league was a long time coming after coming up short in every round last year. However, they performed when it mattered most to defeat 14-man Lisdowney in Kilkenny senior relegation final last year.
See also: “Every match is a big match” Eugene Cloonen loves the uniqueness of Kilkenny hurling
Fans may have feared a repeat of last year’s campaign after a loss in the opening round to James Stephens, however, Eugene Cloonens’s men put in a valiant display against last years league finalist Bennettsbridge in the second round to come away with a three-point victory.
Shamrocks were up next, somewhat of a wounded animal after an opening round loss to Glenmore, and a draw with Erin Own. Manager Pat Hoban recently addressed rumors that Shamrocks are there for the taken this year, however, anyone who witnessed the All Ireland champions on the field Saturday could certainly come to their own conclusions.
See also: “We’re not gone away just yet” Shamrocks Pat Hoban looking to get off the mark in the Kilkenny Hurling League
Goals from TJ Reid and Eoin Cody helped secure a 2-21 to 20 points win, thus grabbing all the points and putting Graigue back into a relegation semi-final place. High-flying Glenmore will prove to be a tough task in round 4, while the final fixture has Erins Own slated for Saturday 9th.
Speaking to KCLR after the defeat to county champions, Graigue Ballycallan captain Tommy Ronnan was hopeful for the future.
“This year we have a bit of youth and we have a bit older knowledge on the team. So trying to just get the clique there together between everyone and the younger lads are very young and we can’t expect them to go on to win the games for us.”
“They’re a huge addition to this year and they’re helping along the way and hopefully the next year or two now that they will be pushing on even further than we can this year.”
Get a rundown of all the action on the Kilkenny Hurling Podcast. Each week Robbie Dowling and former Blacks and Whites manager Eddie Scally cast their eye over all the action from the weekend’s senior, intermediate, and junior league and championship games as well as looking ahead to the next round of action.