Kilkenny overcame Wexford to advance to Leinster Minor Hurling Championship final in a 1-18 to 17-point victory on Bank Holiday Monday.
A late first-half goal from Brian Moore proved to be the key moment in an intense encounter as Niall Bergin’s side secured a rematch with Galway in the decider.
Speaking to Martin Quilty on Fulltime after the game, manager Niall Bergin was evidently proud of his side.
“The panel and management, of course, we are delighted. We said at the start of the year to go as far as possible in the competition and it’s great that we’re down to the last four, we look forward to the Leinster final.”
“The attitude of the full panel has been brilliant and I am delighted for the lads. They get the rewards and they get an opportunity to play in a Leinster final. More than that, I suppose some people may forget, but it also books a place in an All Ireland semifinals, which is huge.”
What lies ahead
The Cats have been quite dominant in the Leinster Championship, with a record-breaking 58 titles to their name. Indeed in the last decade, Kilkenny have reached the final eight times winning six Hanrahan Cups in the process. Going back even further, Kilkenny holds the record for the longest streak of success. For ten championship seasons between 1990 and 1999 the county failed to lose a game and won ten Leinster titles in a row.
However, the future of the competition has been forever changed this campaign, as much like their senior county hurling team being involved in Leinster, this will be Galway minor team’s first foray into the competition. Galway will no doubt be a tough test for Niall Bergin and his charges with the two sides all ready meeting earlier in the campaign. Aaron Niland was the star on the day and shot 1-13, outscoring Kilkenny by a goal.
“We are acutely aware we have a big challenge coming down the road and there’s no doubt about it, a huge challenge. Galway is an exceptional team. They seem to be always strong on a minor level, but this year it would be it would our luck in many ways in terms of their first-year Leinster Then start they’re. Exceptionally strong, but that’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. We’ll take it as it comes.”
“We’re not in a position to be picking and choosing who we’re going to play against in the final. Those days are well and truly over for Kilkenny at underage level. We’re just thrilled to be there.”
Listen back to the full interview with Niall Bergin on Fulltime below: