Moral victories aren't worth much, but well done to the hurlers last night for playing with heart and courage. Nothing was left on the field and but for some questionable refereeing calls and a lapse or two in concentration we could have been celebrating one of the all time great results for Carlow GAA. I suppose the learning comes from how those lapses were punished.
It was ultimately a loss, and that's that, but it was a shot of adrenaline for GAA in this county. When was the last time we had a crowd actually chanting during a game? It was nice that the crowd to give an ovation at the end too.
It was a super performance and if a 70 minute game I think their momentum could have got them over the line.
As mentioned the start was the killer, I reckon it took a good five minutes before a Carlow player got a clean strike of the ball. Very nervous and maybe that's what the sight of a Kilkennt Jersey does, not just to Carlow either. When they got into it they competed really well and left nothing on the pitch. Kilkenny did seem to be a small bit crisper in their striking and particularly their ability to offload to a spare man when under pressure was notable but overall the nicest hurlers on the pitch tended to be Carlow men in my opinion which is some source of pride despite the disappointment of being so close to what would have been a sensational breakthrough. This wides from frees in the first half also hurt us and during that half it seemed we needed three chances to score one whereas Kilkenny were much more efficient. The second half from Carlow was superb however when it seemed like we about 20 on the pitch such was the work rate.
A pity about this is that that game would have brought these fellas on so much but by losing they don't get to maintain that level which is a pity. Great night all the same.
I think the synopsis is much the same from most who were there including Kilkenny supporters. Yeah we were nervous at the start and we were slow to get to grips with the pace of the game. Our misses from frees and one clear goal chance in the first half hurt us. The second half was dominated by Carlow- no doubt about that.
The referee made a right Thames of a decision late in the half when he allowed no advantage when an obvious advantage was there when a clear shot at goal was there. He blew the whistle very quickly, a pity. It was a very decisive moment in the game when the momentum stayed with Kilkenny. A fair few shots went wide for our lads and this also cost us. Kilkenny were also off track with their shooting in the later stages of the second half.
Overall, it was a great chance to secure a win over Kilkenny and that would be rare. Well done to all the players and management who have showed what belief and effort can secure. A nice crowd there and a lot of young players too.