Kilkenny got off the mark in the league against Dublin last weekend.
Following losses, the Clare and Galway in the opening rounds, Kilkenny were desperate for the win.
With 54 minutes gone, Kilkenny’s lead was down to just three points, 0-14 to 0-11, after an Aisling Maher score for the Dubs opened the door to a late smash-and-grab finish from Gerry McQuaid’s charges, but Kilkenny finished strongly with the last three points of the tie.
Maher produced a terrific display for the beaten side but Dublin struggled to break down a resolute Kilkenny rearguard in the opening half. Maher fired in all four of her side’s points in the first 30 minutes, just one of those coming from play. Kilkenny meanwhile were able to call upon the reliable Denise Gaule to punish any indiscretions, with 0-3 from Laura Murphy helping the Cats lead 0-9 to 0-4 at the break.
Although Asha McHardy and Gaule helped Kilkenny keep Dublin at arm’s length, Aisling O’Neill and Maher kept the home side in the hunt, ensuring a tight finish.
See also: Kilkenny claim first league win of the season with defeat of Dublin
The defending All Ireland Champions would be without manager Brian Dowling, with Village legend Philly Larkin replacing him on the sideline for the clash. Speaking to Scoreline after the game Larkin was just happy to come away with the result, as oppose to the performance;
“It was badly needed, it was not pretty but we ground out the result. It was not about being fancy it was just about winning.”
“We could have been 1-13 or 1-14 in the first half. We missed a few chances. These things happen. The ground was fairly bad out there. The girls were going for the ball and the ball was bobbling over the hurl, in Summer your touch would be a lot better. We could have been further ahead, but I was happy with the second half, they grounded out the result. they dug it out.”
See also: St Kieran’s College advance to All-Ireland final with seven-point win over Cashel Community School
Brian Dowling was not taking a day of leisure of course, as he was looking after his St. Kierans side in the Croke Cup semi-final. The All-Ireland winner will be thrilled both of his sides pulled out the victory, however when asked if we will see him back for Kilkenny camogie clash with Cork, Larkin said in jest;
“We might take him back, we will see!”
Listen back to the full interview below on Scorleine Extra: