Kilkenny defeated Dublin in UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday afternoon to make it back-to-back wins in this year’s Oneills.com Leinster Championship
After an opening round loss to Wexford a few weeks ago Kilkenny have bounced back to claim victories over Galway two weeks ago and last weekend they defeated The Dubs in UPMC Nowlan Park to sit nicely at the top of the table with three rounds played. The game had a similar pattern to the Galway game where Galway dominated the game for periods but Kilkenny was more clinical and the same was said at the weekend where the Cats took their chances and the dubs didn’t. both teams went into the break level at 1-9 each.
The teams traded points and up to the third quarter of the game they were still level at 1-14 each, Kilkenny then took a foothold of the game and registered fixe points without reply. The result at the end was hard fought as Dublin had a strong finish and with the clock turning red and in injury time Dublin struck a goal to leave just two points between the teams. Kilkenny held out and registered their second win of the campaign and leapfrog the Dubs to the top of the table.
Speaking to KCLR after the game, manager Mark Dowling said: “It was possibly a game of two halves, Dublin plays a particular style of hurling and it can be awkward to play against and it can lead to frustration, I thought we dealt with it reasonably well towards the end of the first half, and very much so at the start of the second half”.
“It was a frustrating type of game it was frustrating for us on the line as well, positions were kind a little bit irrelevant, and the subs made a huge contribution, in fairness, any of the lads who have come in over the last three games have made valuable contributions so it’s been pleasing from that point of view, I’d be particularly happy with first twenty minutes of the second half where we turned things around in our favor”.
With Dublin’s game plan, Dowling had measures to try and curtail that plan and gave a number of players a specific job to do “He [Jeff Neary] did outstanding, but there are other attributes to Jeffs’s game that was on show today apart from his ability to read I thought he had an outstanding game from start to finish it’s not an easy job the one he was entrusted with but he did excellent”.
“Both [Doyle and Beirne] put in a huge shift they covered a huge amount of ground and we moved them between wing and midfield the two of them and regardless they just went at it. I think the middle third was always going to be a defining area of the pitch and I think the lads really stood up and won the vital ball in the second half when it was there to be won”.
You can listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra at the link below