It's a big day for the Kildare hurlers today as they make the trip to Iniskeen to face Derry in the Christy Ring Cup semi-final.
The Lilywhites have been in good form since the commencement of this competition, winning all three of their games in the group stages to ensure a safe passage to the last four. Today they will meet a Derry side who finished second in their group behind London, and Kildare should hold no fear as their panel looks the healthiest it has been all year and their main men are on top form. The final will be played in Croke Park on June 23.
Speaking after the win over Wicklow last weekend, Kildare captain Brian Byrne told KildareNow that the break after the league did the team the world of good.
“It was a rocky start for us – things just didn’t go our way," he said.
"But full credit to the whole bunch of people in the dressing room there, we all met up after the break from the league and we got our heads down and worked very hard and now we’re reaping the rewards so it’s good to see.”
As manager Joe Quaid has always stated, winning the Christy Ring Cup is all about momentum due to the condensed nature of the competition, so avoiding defeat in the Garden County last week was key to continuing that momentum.
“It is such a quick turnaround that if we hadn’t got a win here today it would be hard to pick everyone up,” said Byrne.
“In five days you’re not going to do a hell of a lot of training, we’ll just sharpen things up for the weekend. A win today was very good and we’re going in on a very positive note next week.”
Asked about the challenge of Derry, Byrne admitted to not knowing an awful lot about them, but you can be sure that Kildare will have done some research into the opponents they face today in the few days since the Wicklow game.
“To be honest with you I don’t know much about them,” admitted Naas man Byrne about the upcoming challenge.
“Again, we’re all hurling at the same level and it’s going to be a tough game. I’m looking forward to it.”
Throw-in is at 4pm in Iniskeen and KildareNow will be reporting live from the Monaghan venue to bring you all the action.
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