The Leinster League goes into its winter break (for most, at least) this weekend with the final round of pre-Christmas fixtures.
Kilkenny have an additional game or two to play to make up for dropped fixtures earlier in the season but this weekend will see all three local club sides in action.
On Saturday, Kilkenny head to Suttonians, fourth in the table with fifteen points in Division 1A. Making the trip to Dublin, however, they’ll be down a number of key players with almost as many on the treatment table as there are starting on the pitch.
“The big issue for us is that there were three serious injuries out of the game”, says Kilkenny’s James Blanchfield in speaking to Thursday night’s edition of The Knock On.
“Jack Nolan, in his first game back after 18 months, looks like he did his ACL. Ruptured again. Hugh Corkery has broken three ribs by the sounds of things. David O’Connor is touch-and-go with a head injury, he shipped a big hit in the last game.”
“So, Suttonians away on Saturday, we’re going up there with 13 players on the treatment table.”
That would be a dent in anyone’s preparations, particularly with extra games to play before the draw for the 2022 Provincial Towns Cup is made in the new year.
For Tullow, it’s a similar picture.
“Injuries are killing us”, says Tullow RFC’s Johnny Tobin.
“You take Stevie Smith, Joe Waters, Louis Kilcoyne, Tom Cashin out a team and any team would struggle. We’re under savage pressure at the moment with injuries. I don’t know what’s going on, lads are just falling away. It’s not ideal.”
“I really think the break can’t come quick enough for us.”
Tullow will meet Division 1B leaders Wicklow this weekend, knowing that a win at this stage of the year is a must with the men from Black Gates second from bottom, losing bonus points (4) proving vital so far this season.
Fourth-placed Carlow host Mullingar in Oak Park on Sunday knowing that a bonus-point victory over the midlanders has the potential to put them right in the mix at the between the top two in the league.
We’ll have updates from each of the games this weekend on Scoreline.