Cody approval for Kilkenny club schedule despite Cats' Leinster woes
DESPITE facing a make-or-break game on July 29, the Kilkenny County Board will press ahead with a full round of club hurling championship games this weekend.
They will do so with the approval of team manager Brian Cody, who did not seek a change in the agreed club schedule after Kilkenny's defeat by Galway in the Leinster final. It means he will have the players for just two weeks before the All-Ireland quarter-final.
The only adjustment to the club schedule involves bringing forward games featuring county players, which were fixed for Sunday, to Friday/Saturday evening.
County chairman Paul Kinsella said Cody had not sought a postponement of the weekend's club action. "We always work very closely with Brian and the clubs. He's a great club man and is happy enough to let the programme go ahead next weekend," said Kinsella.
He acknowledged there was a huge sense of disappointment in Kilkenny after Sunday's defeat but said Galway's performance came as no surprise to them.
"There's a huge skill level in Galway hurling. We've always known that. When they hit a really good day, it's very hard to stop them as we saw on Sunday," he said.
Kilkenny are still the popular fancies to retain the All-Ireland title. They are now 6/5 favourites, followed by Galway and Tipperary on 11/4 each, with Cork on 11/1.
Last Sunday's result means if Tipperary win the Munster final, there can't be a repeat of a Tipp-Kilkenny final for a fourth straight year. If Tipp and Kilkenny each win their next game, they will meet in the semi-final on August 19. Galway will play their semi-final against quarter-final winners on August 12.
With Galway and Dublin crowned Leinster senior and minor hurling champions respectively, the task of ensuring that Kilkenny aren't excluded from the three main provincial titles for the first time since 1989 falls to the U-21s, who play Laois in the final in O'Moore Park tomorrow (7.30).