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08th Jul 2019

Hurling team of the weekend

Niall McIntyre

Brought to you by Centra #WeAreHurling

We’re hurling now alright.

There weren’t many games of hurling at the weekend but what we may not have had in quantity, we were more than catered for with quality.

The first game of the weekend took place in Semple Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The two beaten provincial minor finalists Kilkenny and Clare went head to head and they produced one hell of a game of hurling.

Kilkenny ended up deserving 2-14 to 0-13 winners and two players had bigger parts to play than most. Billy Drennan, the prodigious young handballer and gifted Galmoy club man paved the way. A la TJ Reid, he scored, assisted and directed the Kilkenny attack with 0-9 (0-5 from open play) in an awesome display. Like TJ, he even wears the hurling glove too. In front of him, PierceĀ Blanchfield of Graignamanagh caught balls and contributed some tremendous scores.

Worth noting that both these players are from unheralded junior clubs in Kilkenny.

But while the Kilkenny minors were good, it was all about Laois. Eddie Brennan’s men put in the performance of their lives to shock the nation and to make it through to the All-Ireland quarter final against Tipp next weekend. This was no fluke. Laois were the better team.

Led by Enda Rowland in the goals who made saves and scored points, they were hungrier and sharper than their opponents. In front of Rowland, Cleere, Whelan and then the giants Kelly and Mullaney were heroic out in the half back line.

In midfield, the rangy Paddy Purcell and the sweeping John Lennon took over. In attack, Mark Kavanagh was both razor accurate and selfless while Willie Dunphy was unplayable. His namesake Aaron is unlucky not to get in, but so are a number of other players

Pat Horgan hit 0-10 of Cork’s 1-40 total. Some of his points were typically breathtaking while Robbie O’Flynn (1-4 from play) and Alan Cadogan (0-5 from play) racked up unbelievable tallies considering they only played one half of hurling. Both men were unlucky to miss out, but the reason the likes of Drennan and Kavanagh get in ahead is because of the greater importance attached to their scores.

It was a tough day for Westmeath, but the ever reliable Eoin Price stood up again with 0-4 from play. It’s often said but the Clonkill man really is one of those players who would make any team in the country.

Without further ado, here’s your #WeAreHurling team of the weekend brought to you by Centra.

Cork cut loose

Lovely Laois ignore the script

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