Last Sunday brought with it a sobering defeat for Kilkenny in their first league final appearance since 2018.
The Cats travelled to Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the hope of defeating Limerick, but the All-Ireland champions eased to an unusually comfortable 11-point win to further cement their place as the standard bearers in modern day hurling.
Despite the underwhelming result and performance, focus will now turn to the championship as Lyng’s side prepare to begin the defence of their provincial crown when they welcome Westmeath to UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday, April 22nd (Throw-in 6pm. Live on KCLR).
The Ahane clubman continued: “In general, it has been a good league and it’s going to take time to transition into the new way of hurling while also trying to keep the tradition in the county. TJ Reid will also bring a new dimension when he returns, and he will be a very important player.
“I think Derek will be pleased with what he got out of the league, and I wouldn’t be overly worried with the game against Limerick if I was a Kilkenny supporter.”
A league winner during his playing days, Moran admitted that Kilkenny remain the biggest obstacle for Limerick to overcome if they are to secure a fourth consecutive All-Ireland title.
“They’re certainly on the right trajectory and as we saw last year they can improve as the championship goes on. I’ll be honest, I think Kilkenny are the biggest threats to Limerick. They have the attributes to take on and beat Limerick more than any other team,” Moran said.
“When they have their full compliment, they’ll be able to compete physically. They proved in last year’s All-Ireland final that they have the personnel and the fitness levels required to put it up to Limerick.
“I’m a big advocate of the way Kilkenny play. They’re very direct and they don’t dilly-dally on the ball. That’s the only way to beat Limerick. You can’t over elaborate on the ball, and they don’t do that.
“They trust themselves with one-v-one situations. I think they need to revert back to that style and bring that intensity. You have to be able to do that for 75-80 minutes though. It’s no good doing it for 55-60 minutes.”
You can hear the full interview with Ollie Moran on KCLR’s Scoreline this Saturday at 5pm.
KCLR is the only place where you can hear full live commentary of all of Kilkenny’s Leinster championship and All-Ireland series games in 2023.