Thursday 20 June 2019

More to come from Carlow - Bonnar

Bonnar: ‘Can’t buy experience’. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Bonnar: ‘Can’t buy experience’. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

The difference in the resources that Colm Bonnar was working with compared to Brian Cody was plain to see in the match programme.

Bonnar's starting 15 were pulled from just four clubs - St Mullins, Mount Leinster Rangers, Naomh Eoin and Ballinkillen - while the subs' bench saw just one more club, Muine Bheag, represented.

Kilkenny were much different. Ten different clubs made up the starting team with another six represented on the line.

Working with such scant resources, perhaps a 14-point defeat to the Cats was inevitable but afterwards Bonnar was keen to point to the positives.

Carlow had 'won' the second half by 1-11 to 0-13, he pointed out.

And he believed the occasion, which saw the sides meet for only the second time and more than 7,000 people turn out, had contributed to his side's struggles early on but he insisted they would be better for the experience in the long run.

"That's experience and you can't buy it. Kilkenny are well used to these occasions and we are building. That second half will stand to us."

After two games in consecutive weeks against two of the game's heavyweights in Galway and Kilkenny, Carlow have a fortnight to lick their wounds and prepare for a clash with Dublin.

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The team they replaced in the Leinster championship, Offaly, faded as their campaign went on.

And although the schedule is less hectic this time around, Bonnar agreed that it's a significant factor for squads with less depth.

"The break is welcome. If we had to face in to another game next Sunday, especially after that first-half performance, it would be hard to pick them up and get that mental strength right.

"But the fact that we have that 14 days is going be a big help to us. You will see a more determined team, especially from the one we saw in the first half today."

"We're heading into a break now and we have to reassess but there will be a crunch game here in Netwatch Cullen Park because… it is going to be a ding-dong.

"Dublin will probably be disappointed with the momentum they have coming in from a league semi-final defeat, a loss to Kilkenny and a home draw with Wexford.

"They will be nervous coming down and we do need to set our stall out earlier when we are on our home patch.

"We need to be hard to beat. It was just too easy for them in the first 20 minutes but I do believe I can get more out of those lads."

Irish Independent

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