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Sheeflin pleased with Cats' opener
02 Jul 2015 21:09
From the vantage points of either sitting in the stand or in his new role as an RTÉ analyst, Henry Shefflin now has a different perspective on the fortunes of Kilkenny hurling.
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Assessing the trouncing of Wexford in the Leinster hurling semi-final, the Cats legend was taken by the hunger the side showed.
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Speaking to 2FM's Game On, Shefflin remarked: "I wouldn't say Kilkenny were ruthless against Wexford, they were hungry. They hadn't hurled a competitive game in 12 weeks and so all the players looked very sharp and just wanted to be on the ball. Ger Aylward got on a lot of ball and scored 3-05.
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"You can have all the training sessions you want but at the end of the day players just want to get out there and play a competitive match. I could see the enjoyment in the faces of the players that day. They put Wexford to the sword by getting early scores and Wexford could ill-afford that.
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"Injuries have cleared up and the Ballyhale lads are back. From a standing start it was an impressive start."
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Next up is Galway in the Leinster decider at Croke Park on Sunday. Looking at both panels, Shefflin said that "both teams want to go out and hurl and have very skilful players."
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"It's great to have Galway involved. They are not coming in cold as in previous years"
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Not surprisingly, the 10-time All-Ireland winner had a special word for Joe Canning.
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"You will always look to your top players to play well and Joe Canning is a top player. He had an injury earlier on this year but he seems to be back to himself now and performed very well the last day against Laois. The Kilkenny defence will have a job to keep tabs on Joe.
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"I know there is a doubt about Jason Flynn's participation on Sunday, but the Galway inside-forward line is very strong and it all adds to to the prospect of a really exciting game."
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Shefflin will be part of the RTÉ Radio 1 commentary team at Croke Park alongside Pauric Lodge for the eighth championship meeting between Galway and Kilkenny since the Westerners joined the Leinster championship.
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Galway's arrival in Leinster has certainly spiced up competition in the province, and is "all for the betterment of hurling," according to Shefflin.
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"It's great to have Galway involved. They are not coming in cold as in previous years and are now having a fair crack at things like every other county.
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"The Leinster championship was struggling for a few years. It's great that at the start of this year's campaign it was very hard to predict the winner. "
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