WHEN one would see the fixture between Kilkenny and Limerick in this Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling quarter-final, an automatic win for the Cats would seem the obvious choice. Think again.
Limerick’s progression in this year’s championship, albeit through the qualifiers, hasn’t gone unnoticed by many in the hurling world, with John Allen’s men out to cause another huge upset in Semple Stadium at 4pm.
Corner-forward Seanie Tobin admitted in the Irish Examiner that the atmosphere and intensity in the knockout stages of the hurling championship is something special.
“We’re all expecting to be hit hard,” the Murroe-Boher man said. “If we can keep the ball moving fast that’s the aim, try to cause them problems ourselves, get them thinking about us.”
“If you don’t take the game to them, if you go in there afraid of Kilkenny, you might as well stay at home. It’s pointless talking about who’s going to win. If we perform to our best then we have a very, very good chance,” Tobin added.
Kilkenny were defeated by a hugely impressive Galway side in the recent Leinster final at Croke Park, with Brian Cody’s men outclassed on the day by the outstanding Tribesmen.
The Cats will no doubt be keen to show that their quest to bring the Liam McCarthy back home is still firmly on track, but the Treaty men are more than capable of producing another massive win, following their recent victory over Clare.
Kilkenny’s Brian Hogan looks set to miss out on Sunday’s encounter, after the All-Ireland winning captain suffered a leg injury during a recent club game.
Unable to train during the past number of days, Hogan has been receiving intensive treatment but the injury is believed to have been slow to respond, thus making the centre-back highly doubtful for Sunday.
However, wing-back JJ Delaney is back in contention for a starting berth, with Michael Fennelly also making good progress since being sidelined with a broken bone in his foot back in early May.