When you get to the crunch time of the championship, games can’t help but come thick and fast.
However, how does the impending semi-final between Shamrocks and Tullaroan bode for the victor? The game throws in this Saturday, broadcast live on KCLR, giving the ultimate winner eight days to prepare for the county final. By contrast, the awaiting opponent James Stephens will be well rested after their clash with Dicksboro after enjoying a two-week layoff.
Related: James Stephens advance to Kilkenny SHC final following victory over city rivals Dicksboro
Speaking to KCLR on the quick turnaround between games, manager Pat Hoban wouldn’t be drawn on injuries within the Ballyhale camp.
“We can not rule anyone out or in. That is sport, you pick up the injuries, you just got to move on and pick the next man.”
“Tullaroan are a serious team, based on the form, the league. They are league champions, they are the form team at the moment, so we will give them that respect.”
“We are expecting a really tough battle.”
Related: Five-in-a-row hopes alive and well as Ballyhale Shamrocks ruthlessly dispatch of Clara
It is worth pointing out that Shamrocks will be playing a rested Tullaroan also after the Sash bested Erins Own in the last round two weekends ago. Shamrocks will of having just six days between Clara and their upcoming opponents, however, some commentators will point to their blistering start in games allowing them to ease off the pedal in the second half and thus save themselves for the next round. Despite the scoreline, Hoban insists they did not have it easy at any stage in the game;
“I would not say it was easy. We played Clara twice this year, and they beat us twice. So we knew exactly what we were facing. We had a little breeze in the first half, so we got the scores on the board. It was far from an easy game.”
“I thought at times we probably overplayed the ball. We tried to do the special pass when the easy thing was to put it over the bar. So there are things to improve on. Clara played a system where they tend to sit back, so we had an extra man I suppose at the back. We got good scores, we set a target of 25 points, and there were probably left a couple out as well.”
Listen back to the interview with Pat and a host of post-match reactions below on Scoreline Extra: