The weekend ahead brings much excitement as the Kilkenny senior hurling championship semi-finals kick off. Bennetsbridge and O’Loughlin Gaels play at 1.15 pm and Ballyhale Shamrocks v James Stephens gets underway at 3.15 pm.
O’Loughlin Gaels manager Brian Hogan spoke to KCLR on the upcoming match. Hogan gave KCLR an insight into his mindset. Matchups on the field and stopping Bennettsbridge’s individually talented players are unimportant to Hogan. He is set on overpowering Bennettsbridge with O’Loughlin’s own performance and winning while only focusing on themselves.
‘’We’re just thinking about ourselves and thinking about the game at hand.’’
‘’You’re better off focusing on yourself, on your own team, and on the performance that you’re trying to get out of the lads.’’
Hogan spoke on how the 2-week break is essential for players after a tough quarter-final vs Glenmore, despite the scoreline presenting itself as a simple and comfortable win.
‘’For the first couple of days after it’s just recovery. Then you’re getting them refocused for the next challenge (Bennettsbridge).’’
Bennetsbridge manager Tim Dooley also spoke to KCLR, praising his players and touching on their excitement for the game.
‘’The intensity is good at training.’’
‘’They’re mad to go, and we’re ready to take on O’Loughlin’s.’’
Dooley commented on the atmosphere of Nowlan Park and how special it is to play there.
‘’We have to keep lads grounded and keep their focus on the game. More so than what is going on in the background.’’
Dooley also talked about how fighting for everything in a match and standing up to O’Loughlin’s big-name players is extremely important.
‘’It’s all work rate … and fighting for every ball.’’
‘’Matchups are everything … We’ll be looking into all their big names, trying to cancel them out.’’