Sport Hurling

Sunday 16 December 2018

Henry Shefflin offers up a gloomy verdict on Kilkenny after defeat against Galway

Walter Walsh of Kilkenny in action against Gearóid McInerney of Galway
Walter Walsh of Kilkenny in action against Gearóid McInerney of Galway

Sam Roberts

Henry Shefflin says Kilkenny are "well back in the pack" and will struggle in the championship this year after the Cats slipped to defeat away to Galway.

Kilkenny were well-beaten 1-22 to 2-11 in Pearse Stadium by a Joe Canning-inspired Galway in the Leinster championship on Sunday.

Last year's All-Ireland champions Galway pulled away in the second half to record what was a decisive victory, a late Walter Walsh goal adding some gloss to the scoreboard for Kilkenny.

Brian Cody's side came into the game having won both of their opening matches in the new round-robin championship format, an extra-time victory over Dublin on the opening weekend followed by a comfortable stroll against Offaly a week ago.

Legendary Kilkenny hurler Shefflin said his county would struggle in this year's campaign, and suggested too much was read into their Division 1 league success over Tipperary, who were often unconvincing in their draw with Cork this afternoon.

"Kilkenny are well back in the pack now, and they are going to struggle for the rest of the year," Shefflin told The Sunday Game.

"From a Kilkenny point of view we were expecting this as the first real test, and Kilkenny scored two points from play over the whole 75 minutes, and that hasn't happened for a long, long time.

"I saw Bill Sheehan and looked up at the other corner-forward on the other side Conor Whelan and the difference in the physique of the Galway players and some of the younger players in Kilkenny, it really told in the end.

"We thought after the league, was there too much hype about Kilkenny? We've seen how Tipp have performed here to date and I think we've seen that."

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