Wednesday 7 December 2016

Kilkenny are so good, it's hard not to root for them

Joe Molloy

Published 09/09/2015 | 02:30

'It became impossible to root against a team featuring Eoin Larkin'
'It became impossible to root against a team featuring Eoin Larkin'

I was at Croke Park on Sunday for yet another glorious Kilkenny lap of honour, admittedly in front of a mostly empty stadium.

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I suppose like most neutrals I was really hoping for a Galway win. The atmosphere beforehand and for the first half was as good as any I can remember on Jones' Road. The Hill was ready to invade the pitch like it was 1980 all over again.

And then a weird thing happened. Gradually Kilkenny's class on the ball won me over. One can admire their manic work-rate, but the quality of their hurling really is something to behold in person. They maybe don't get enough credit for it.

Take Syria-bound Eoin Larkin as the perfect example. We talk about the army man's work ethic all the time.

But on Sunday he hurled in his own atmosphere: his touch was flawless, he had an all-encompassing vision and composure about his play that impressed me so much.

It became impossible to root against a team featuring Eoin Larkin. Once again they're utterly deserving winners, and their quality superseded any sense of tedium.

Irish Independent

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