Showdown: Cats are being tipped

There is always great action when neighbours collide

File pics: Donal Foley

FROM BEING concerned about the direction we were going after two defeats in the league, Kilkenny now find themselves in a Division 1 decider against old enemy, Tipperary.

And as if to put the icing on the cake of a brilliant recovery by a superb mix of experienced hands and young guns the big match will be in front of home supporters, fantastically loyal people, at Nowlan Park on Sunday.

Kilkenny’s new beginning is proving to be a massive success, a credit to Brian Cody and his management team and to a super crop of players, young ones in particular, who have grown from boys to men in record time.

Davy Fitzgerald and his Wexford squad will vouch for the latter after they were on the end of a wrong result in the semi-final of the league last Sunday.

And as if to add insult to injury, the Cats did the business in Wexford’s own backyard where their super play quietened some of the best hurling supporters in the country.

The final score of 1-27 to 2-15 tells its own story, an impressive nine-point win for Kilkenny who led by 1-13 to 1-5 at half time.

To be fair, Wexford did up the ante at times and showed that they too may have good times ahead but it was Kilkenny who were the masters and they were full value for their convincing win.

With Tipp on the way for the final showdown, talk of earlier games will quickly fade.

Nowlan Park should be on fire as the heavyweights of hurling go head-to-head.

Regardless of the result, new look Kilkenny have a lot to be proud of.

One of the teams will put down a marker for the championship this weekend.

After watching Tipperary in a hard fought Semple Stadium battle against Limerick on Saturday, Kilkenny will be happy that they have the wherewithal to win the first trophy of the new season.

What a feather in our black and amber cap that would be.

Those who know, or at least pretend to know, are putting their tenners on Brian Cody’s braves.