Vegas lights way for six stray Cats by numbers
Given the methodical way they go about their business, you wouldn't associate Kilkenny hurlers with gambling dens but it seems the glitz of Las Vegas holds its appeal for quite a few of them.
No fewer than six of them list Nevada's hot spot as the place they would most like to visit. However, Australia topped the list of target destinations on eight votes with New York in third place on four votes.
The Australia fans are: Aidan Fogarty, David Herity, Noel Hickey, Brian Hogan, Eoin Larkin, Derek Lyng, Michael Rice, James Ryall.
Las Vegas: TJ Reid, Eoin Guinan, Richie Hogan, Mick Kavanagh, John Mulhall, Richie O'Neill
New York: Martin Comerford, JJ Delaney, PJ Ryan, Henry Shefflin
As for Tommy Walsh, there's no favourite destination listed for him in the Kilkenny press pack. Could we suggest "under his opponent's skin" as a possibility?
Tipp hope to go with flow
WHEN Tipperary led Kilkenny by a few points just past the hour mark in last year's All-Ireland final, it really was beginning to look as if they would win, quite probably without even scoring a goal. After all, Kilkenny's two previous All-Ireland final defeats in 2004 and 1999 had been inflicted by a Cork team that failed to score a goal either time.
Not that it mattered to Cork who out-pointed Kilkenny, who also drew a goal blank. Clare won the final without scoring a goal in 1997 but, prior to that, no county had achieved it since 1961 when Tipperary beat Dublin (0-16 to 1-12).
Tipperary's goal drought against Kilkenny in last year's final and against Cork in the first round of this year's Munster championship has given way to an impressive flow since then, having scored three each against Wexford, Galway and Waterford. They didn't put any past Offaly but ran in 21 points. Kilkenny's goal rate has improved this year, having scored eight in the run-up to the final, compared to six last year.
10 Years since Eoin Kelly made his senior championship debut.
9 Years since they won the SH All-Ireland title.
8 Goals conceded in this year's five championship games.
7 All-Ireland title difference between themselves and Kilkenny (32 titles as opposed to 25)
6 Goals conceded against Kilkenny in their last three championship meetings.
5 All-Ireland senior titles won in the last 45 years.
4 Points margin when they beat Kilkenny in a league tie last March.
3 Defeats by Kilkenny in the SHC since 2002.
2 All-Ireland three-in-a-row successes (1898-99-1900; 1949-50-51).
1 Goals scored against Kilkenny in their last three championship meetings.
Kearney back on GAA field
HE is a fabulous fielder of balls of any shape and, as a teenager, lined out at full-forward in the 2004 Louth SFC final for his local club Cooley Kickhams.
Rob Kearney actually delayed signing his IRFU pro contract to play in what was his last official Gaelic football outing.
But why is the Leinster and Ireland full-back now supporting a Kilkenny hurling club that has reached a special All-Ireland final of their own?
It's because Kearney was assigned to mentor Danesfort in the Kellogg's 'Field of Dreams' competition.
The home club of county seniors Richie and Paddy Hogan have already won the Leinster title and are now competing with Glengarriff (Munster), Kilglass (Connacht) and Inishowen Rugby Club (Ulster).
The winner's prize is €100,000 to improve the club's playing pitch and the three runners-up will each get €10,000.
Marty Morrissey's adopted 'Kilglass' are currently in the lead. Votes can be cast on www.kellogs.ie/fieldofdreams. The winners will be announced on the 'Late Late Show' next month.