It wasn’t the fairytale ending for Derek Lyng in his first year in charge of Kilkenny as the Leinster champions could not add the Liam MacCarthy Cup to their 2023 trophy haul.
The Cats fell to a 0-30 to 2-15 defeat to Limerick in yesterday’s decider which secured a fourth consecutive title for John Kiely’s all-conquering outfit.
It also marked a repeat of last year’s decider as the Treaty proved too strong for their Leinster counterparts in the showpiece event yet again.
Speaking after the game, Kilkenny manager Derek Lyng accepted his side were defeated by a superior team.
Lyng began: “I thought we were well in the game but midway through the second half they went on that run. They have quality coming on the pitch and they have quality coming off. We have that too but we had to be really clinical today and we missed some opportunities.
“A few of the 50/50 calls went their way and we needed them to stem the tide because once they get on that run it can be very, very difficult to stop it. I can’t fault our players. They never gave up and they kept working. They picked up a few scores in the end that doesn’t make the scoreboard look too flattering.”
He continued: “They’re a fantastic team and they have quality. They just come at you and we needed one or two points to stop the momentum. I thought at times we could have popped the ball over the bar. I can’t fault the players for going for goal though because I’ve told them all year to go for it if they think it’s on.
“A few of our players were tired. I think nine points is harsh on us because the effort was there. Our lads fronted up but it just wasn’t good enough. There’s plenty of promise there for that squad of players. It doesn’t feel like it now but we’ll come back and when the dust settles we’ll realise that.”
The Emeralds clubman also gave an insight into the injury that forced David Blanchfield out of the biggest day of the season.
“We gave him every opportunity and he was feeling good. It was just too much of a risk in the end. It was really hard on the fella but hopefully he’ll have bigger days. He was a loss. He has physicality, he has youth and plenty of hurling. We have plenty of lads on the line that could come on so it’s no excuse.”
Lyng paid tribute to Kilkenny’s opponents and was in no doubt about their standing in the history of hurling.
“They’ve proven they’re one of the greatest teams of all time. They have four-in-a-row and they don’t look like they’re getting any weaker. They have huge experience and their age profile is pretty good.
“They’re going to take stopping. They’re a fantastic team.”
Listen back to the full interview below.
Listen back: Scoreline Extra #140: Derek Lyng, Barry Nash, Vincent Hogan, Seamus Kelly