Derek Lyng will take charge of his first game at UPMC Nowlan Park when they welcome Tipperary for a half one throw in on Sunday.
The Cats are coming off a win in the opening round of the Allianz Hurling League against Antrim last weekend. The panel traveled up the night before to be ready for the midday throw-in which was contested under fierce conditions.
See also: Perfect start for Lyng’s Cats as Kilkenny defeat battling Antrim in opening round of the Allianz National Hurling League
The scores were hard fought, and one of those scorers was none other than O’Loughlin Gaels Paddy Deegan. Paddy put Kilkjennys second point over the bar but his contribution to the goal was crucial allowing Billy Drennan to hit the net following a pass inside, leaving Ryan Elliott standing. Speaking to Scoreline Deegan was happy with the performance of his teammates;
“It was a good win after a long journey up there. It was a good hard working performance, they were a physical team, well able to hurl. It was a good test run with traveling up there, staying the night, and getting ourselves ready for the match.”
See also: Derek Lyng looks ahead to his first home game in charge of Kilkenny in UPMC Nowlan Park
Kilkenny will be playing the Premier County in a doubleheader of sorts with this weekends league game happening before the two side go head to head in a challenge game for the Dillion Quirke Fundraiser. Referring to the league game Paddy seemed well aware of the rich history the two sides share;
“It is obviously a big match against Tipperary anytime you play them, whether its the league, a challenge game, or a championship. It’s in the Park so we are hoping for a good match.”
“Given the history, the matches that have been played, there will be an extra edge to it.”
See also: Paul Murphy on Kilkenny’s hopes for 2023
We have recently seen a positional change of sorts with Deegan from an intercounty perspective. Derek Lyng has moved Paddy further up the field, in line with how he lines out for O’Loughlins, Deegan though doesn’t mind where he is utilized, as long as he gets to wear the black and amber;
“Anyone who is asked the question, where would you like to play? Everyone says once you get a jersey you will be happy, and I am no different. I have been playing with the forwards with the club, so it has given me that experience in a more advanced role. Anywhere around that middle third is very similar, there are wing backs attacking, wing forwards defending and midfield does both. So hopefully I just want to have an impact on the team, that is the main thing. “
See also: O’Loughlin Gaels intermediates continue to try push the senior team
Deegan came into the panel in 2017, two years after Brian Cody last guided Kilkenny to an All-Ireland title. It is definitely something on Paddy’s mind however he seems content to taking it game by game and not dwelling on the absence of a medal on his mantlepiece;
“Obviously, it is a massive goal of mine and the main objective of the team every year. I am not putting myself under pressure to do it, I take it game by game and hope it puts the team in the best possible position to win one.”
You can tune into the full interview with Paddy where he discusses the appointment of Brian Hogan to O’Loughlin Gaels, along with the thoughts of teammate Walter Walsh and Kilkenny manager Derek Lyng tomorrow on Scoreline from 2 pm.