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Friday 19 July 2019

JJ - Kilkenny need to make it a real dogfight

Conor McKeon (c) speaking at the Throw-In podcast live in Kilkenny along with (l-r) Michael Verney, JJ Delaney, John Mullane, Vincent Hogan and Ger Cunningham
Conor McKeon (c) speaking at the Throw-In podcast live in Kilkenny along with (l-r) Michael Verney, JJ Delaney, John Mullane, Vincent Hogan and Ger Cunningham

Former Kilkenny stalwart JJ Delaney is "hopeful" about his county's chances in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final against Cork but believes how Colin Fennelly is refereed could be the deciding factor.

The nine-time All-Ireland winner knows his fair share about defending against corner-forwards and he thinks his ex-colleague has been getting a raw deal from the officials.

"If you give Cork forwards space, you get torn apart, there's no point in saying any different," he told the audience at the Kilkenny Hotel during the live broadcast of Independent.ie's The Throw-In GAA podcast, in association with Bord Gáis Energy.

"But if they can sit the midfielders back and get the ball into TJ (Reid) and considering how much he gets fouled if Colin (Fennelly) can get some protection from the ref then I'd expect them to have a big game.

"If he gets good ball in and has space then he can cause damage. He enjoys Croke Park and was very unlucky not to get a goal against Wexford. If he scored that goal then you never know what would have happened.

"I'm very hopeful Kilkenny have a huge performance in them. They have to, it's knock-out hurling now and after falling at this hurdle last year it'll be a long summer again if they don't."

Delaney also reiterated his argument from earlier this week that the Cats will have to turn the game into a scrap to have any chance of avoiding another early exit.

"It'll be a tough game," he said. "If Kilkenny win I don't expect there'll be more than a point or two in it but they have to bring it to a dogfight. They can't give these forwards space or Cork will win by five or six points."

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