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Low key Cats escape to victory

by Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics by Donal Foley

IT WASN’T a classic, nor was it an edge of seat thriller.

But, although there were some shaky moments, a win, was a win for the Kilkenny senior hurlers in their opening game of the Allianz League at Nowlan Park.

The home team, minus a good sprinkling of regulars, was expected to see off the challenge of visitors Antrim.

The latter the Cats did eventually achieve after a strange battle in which Antrim opened impressively and, despite being reduced to 14 men, stayed in the hunt right to the dying minutes.

At one stage in the second half, it looked as if Kilkenny would ease past the winning post, having built up a good lead.

But, Antrim stayed stubborn and resilient and in the end it was a case of the Cats escaping to victory.

In fairness, despite Antrim putting it up to them, the new look Kilkenny deserved the spoils.

Boss Brian Cody may have had mixed feelings about the game a win will have eased any ache, although he knows well that tougher tests lie ahead.

He will also take solace in that stalwarts of Ballyhale Shamrocks and others will be back and in contention for places after the South Kilkenny hurling kingpins hopefully bring home the All-Ireland club crown.

Final score was Kilkenny 2-15 (21) to 2-9 (18).

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