Monday 17 June 2019

TJ Reid - the man Kilkenny can't do without

TJ Reid. Photo: Sportsfile
TJ Reid. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Brian Cody must wonder which of the gods Kilkenny upset and why they have taken it so badly.

Every post-match press briefing includes a query on an injury situation, which has seriously weakened his hand at a time when margins between several counties are so tight.

"I just don't know at this stage," said Cody when asked after the defeat by Galway last Sunday if any of the injured players would be recovered in time for Saturday's clash with Wexford.

Walter Walsh was the latest to join the missing crew, his absence a major setback in a game where TJ Reid scored 2-11 of Kilkenny's 2-22 total.

They have long been aware of his importance to the scoring rate, but, if anything, it has become more pronounced.

He has accounted for 57pc (5-35) of Kilkenny's 7-67 total against Dublin, Carlow and Galway. Much of it has come from placed balls, but he came good from open play against Galway, scoring 2-4. He also earned several frees - as he regularly does.

Ger Aylward (1-3) and Austin Murphy (0-6) are next best, but it's significant that Reid has scored a higher proportion of his side's total than anyone else in the other counties.

Clare's Peter Duggan is next highest on 53pc, albeit off a much lower overall total than most other teams, followed by Patrick Horgan (Cork) on 42pc.

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Lee Chin (Wexford) is on 29pc, Paul Ryan (Dublin) on 25pc, and Jason Forde (Tipperary) on 23pc, having scored 1-20 (0-13 from placed balls)

Tipperary have an extensive list of scorers, with John McGrath on 1-12, Seamus Callanan on 3-7, John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer on 0-12, and Noel McGrath on 1-8.

It underlines just how many outlets they have in an attack which accumulated a total of 7-79 against Cork, Waterford and Clare.

Galway's scoring spread is the widest of all. They are also the only county where a free-taker doesn't head the charts.

Jason Flynn, who has shared the free-taking duties with Niall Burke, in the absence of Joe Canning, has scored 0-12 (5f, 1 '65'), which represents 17pc of the overall total.

Cathal Mannion on 0-12 (one free) and Conor Whelan (1-9) are on the same mark as Flynn.

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