Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

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Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

Post  bald eagle on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:55 am

CATS TO CLAW THEIR WAY BACK

Kilkenny out of the All Ireland race in July is unimaginable at best. The Cats made hard work of their first round game against an up for it, Offaly, then drew their Leinster Semi Final against Dublin, only to lose the replay. This puts the most dominant team of any hurling era in a game of do or die against arch rivals Tipperary. This game is not life or death, it's much more important than that. As the Kilkenny injuries mount, their progression in this years championship becomes more in doubt.

Memories of 1973 and 2010 come flooding back, where injury depleted Kilkenny sides lost All Ireland finals. Saturday nights game is however, not an All Ireland final. The tension is in the air already, two giants of the game must battle it out for survival. Surely the GAA must recognise the need for change in the Hurling Championship format. This is a knockout game, the winner takes it all, that creates the buzz, there is no outside gate to get back in, the back door is all that remains.

Yes, Kilkenny will raise their game, it's a home game versus Tipperary. You couldn't write a script that could have any more on the line than this clash. Tipperary's last visit to Nowlan Park ended in defeat in the League Final, but this game means a whole lot more. Kilkenny are far from full strength and Tipperary must sense an opportunity to end the champions reign in their own back yard.

The Cats however, have had their backs to wall before, they just need a leader to emerge from the pack, something that they were lacking in their three championship games so far. It was Mick Fennelly that led the charge in the League Final but he is unavailable through injury for Saturday night. Teams have had the smell of blood in their nostrils before, none more so than Galway last year. Having comprehensively beat Kilkenny in the Leinster Final, Galway fancied their chances in the All Ireland decider. Step up one Henry Shefflin, but he too is missing this weekend.

Tipperary were poor against Limerick and were dumped out of the Munster Championship. They too need someone to step up to the plate. There are no second chances after this weekend, both teams must give it all. Last years All Ireland Semi Final defeat is still raw with the Tipperary supporters and players. What better way to make amends than to knock Kilkenny out of the championship on their home ground? Kilkenny must do it to keep Shefflins run for ten All Ireland medals alive. An expectant but nervous home crowd, baying for blood will help them on but it's the guys on the pitch that ultimately must do it. I expect hair and skin to be flying, I expect a combined sigh of 'oh no' from the rest of the counties left in the championship as Kilkenny prevail. Kilkenny to survive to fight another day, Tipperary to be singing 'the back door blues'.


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This blog is posted with the kind permission of Fergal Cantwell and was originally published 03/07/2013.  

You can read more of Fergals blogs here - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and you can follow him on Twitter by following @fergalcantwell link - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Last edited by bald eagle on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

Post  bald eagle on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:58 am

Thanks again to Fergal for allowing us to post his blog, please let us know what you think folks.

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Re: Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

Post  Boxtyeater on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:05 pm

By all accounts/reports the end is nigh for Kilkenny. They aren't hurling well, not scoring goals and there's some disharmony at the dropping yet again of TJ Reid, their saviour against Dublin the 1st.day.
Sans Fennelly, Shefflin and a couple of other luminaries they're ther for the taking as Dublin showed.
Can Tipp be the ones to end this tremendous run? Hmmmm.. Unlikely.
The recall of Corbett (hardly up to speed) and Eoin Kelly (past it 2/3 years ago) smack of desperation for a clearly beleaguered Eamon O'Shea. Pa Bourke and Callinan on the bench Shocked 

Kilkenny to survive this time. A must improve tag attaches to them...
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Re: Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

Post  Boxtyeater on Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:15 am

Mediocrity best sums this encounter up. Unless the standard is dropping dramatically, Kilkenny are, on this showing, unlikely to retain their title. Paul Murphy and Brian Hogan excluded, too many of them are hurling at a level we're more used to seeing from those on the lower slopes, ie: Waterford/Clare.

Admittedly Rice, Fennelly and Shefflin are huge losses, but the likes of Lester Ryan, Matthew Ruth or Ger Alyward are hardly likely to instil terror into teams further on. Twice tonight, in solid acres of room, the normally constructive Tommy Walsh ballooned aimless balls forward just to get it off his patch it seemed.
Walsh usually drives these balls diagonally at the half-forward line, so one must conclude that he has no faith in these lads anymore.

This Tipp team are finished. Brendan and Padraig Maher along with Cahill offered resistance to the last, but their age-old failure caught them again (their forwards can't win their own ball). Corbett was a loss of sorts, he'd gotten a goal after a mis-handle and frees apart, Kelly is finished. Both McGraths, highly touted, are badly out of form and may benefit from a break.

Can Galway restore pride in the Tribesmen??
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Re: Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

Post  OMAR on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:55 pm

JBM,s rebels to repeat history and grab a sole All Ireland whilst all around are in transition
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Re: Blog: Cats to Claw Their Way Back

Post  Boxtyeater on Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:38 pm

OMAR wrote:JBM,s rebels to repeat history and grab a sole All Ireland whilst all around are in transition

They'll have to get out of the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday carrying loads of positives to have an impact further on. Limerick are bullish after beating Tipp Suspect and it'll be a mighty atmosphere.

De Duds fairly schooled Galway today in terms of passion, movement, first touch and rate of conversion.
They're fit, handy and eager with replacements to come in for tiring bodies.
It's a great Leinster for them to win, Wexford and Kilkenny after replays and now Galway. They'll fear no one going forward until message boards and the Herald blow their ego's to the Almighty.
Meanwhile, there won't be a cow milked.......courtesy of Marty...
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