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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Walsh: Cats always believe

Kilkenny hurler, Padraig Walsh. Photo: Tony Kinlan
Kilkenny hurler, Padraig Walsh. Photo: Tony Kinlan

It seems twee now to recall but it's just over three months since Clare destroyed Kilkenny in the League semi-final.

They won by nine points in Thurles, scored 4-22 and between John Conlon and Aaron Cunningham, they caused the sort of problems in the air and on the ground that looked fairly grave in the context of Kilkenny's summer.

Less than 10 weeks on and Kilkenny are back in very familiar territory as All-Ireland favourites while Clare's season is long since ended.

"It was disappointing," recalls Pádraig Walsh, a member of that Kilkenny defence in Thurles, four of whom are likely to start Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final.

"We were really out-hurled that day and Clare had us all over the place.

"They rattled us with a few goals but we didn't talk about it a whole lot, we just left it behind us and we wanted to drive on for championship."

They faced brief hardship in both of their Championship games since then against Dublin and Galway but Kilkenny's awesome habit of dominating the second half of matches is something for which this team are becoming legendary.

"We have a belief that we can always win a game," Walsh explains ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final against Waterford.

"No matter what the difference is, you can pull a team back."

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