KILDARE minor hurlers went into Saturday’s clash against Kilkenny as overwhelming outsiders and with The Cats findig the Kildare net three times inside the opening seventeen minutes the result was known long before the long whistle arrived.
But having said that and with wins over Wicklow and Carlow under their belt, the Kildare manager, Jim Byrne, said after the game that he was very proud of his players to have reached this level and while he knew they were always going to be up against it nevertheless felt that it can do nothing but good for Kildare players to get the opportunity to cross swords with the Kilkennys of this world.
“It’s a thankless task for a Kildare side but it is a privilege to get here; the lads have put in a great effort throughout the year and I am very proud of them.”
The manager added that “we were drawn to get Offaly and that would probably have been a better game for us but when it turned out to be Kilkenny we simply said that this is what we have been training for because you want to pitch yourself against the top and the lads will learn from this; it is hard looking at the score today but they will learn from it, of that I have no doubt.”
Byrne added that Kilkenny are the team to beat and always will be “but when they were beaten by Wexford last time out I was getting phone calls from Waterford and Clare wondering if Kilkenny were out of the championship and that is becasue they are the top team and unfortunatley they are not out of the championship and any team that meets them from now on will certainly have their hands full.
Jim said that the side will take a break now for three or four weeks, lads will go off and do the Leaving Cert and other exams and we will regroup in early July and prepare for the All Ireland Minor ‘B’ series where we meet Meath and we will push on for that.