The Kilkenny Under 21s wrapped up the clean sweep of Senior, Intermediate, Under 21 and Minor
. We’ll now spend the winter listening to how great Kilkenny hurling is and how far everyone else has to go to catch up with them.
A couple of things are clear. Leinster hurling isn’t anywhere as bad as people feared. It’s simply that Kilkenny are on another level. Wexford, Offaly and even Dublin all had solid years that bode well for the future. Bringing Galway and Antrim into Leinster is no longer needed to make the province more competitive it’s simply to give both some serious Championship preparation.
Kilkenny have raised the bar in hurling, it’s up to others to rise up to meet and challenge them. Clare done it in the mid to late nineties and the rest eventually woke up. Cork, Tipperary and Galway remain the most likely to challenge the cats next year.
Underage success is important. You don’t always have to win but at least be competitive and make a few finals. The minor is too often a big 4 only show. At least the under 21 has been a bit more competitive although now it may be replaced by under 20.
I heard Galway’s Tony Keady on the radio at the weekend naming his team of the year and it was a bit silly. He basically said that Kilkenny were going to get enough players nominated so he was always looking for alternatives, he was thinking the awards need to be spread around more. That’s a nice sentiment but just like the Sunday game team giving Brian Cody man of the match it’s a load of rubbish. Kilkenny are the best team around so if they get 15 all stars then fair play to them, it’s not their fault!
Under 21 Final Prediction
Importance of a good League campaign
2008 Sunday Game Team of the Year