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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 19 April, 2019
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Kilkenny's Eoin Larkin: 'We knew we weren't dead'

Kilkenny are back in the hunt for All-Ireland honours after victory tonight in Nowlan Park.

Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

MAN-OF-THE-Match Eoin Larkin insisted that ‘we knew they weren’t dead’ after Kilkenny knocked out Tipperary in tonight’s heavyweight All-Ireland hurling qualifier clash.

The reigning All-Ireland champions bounced back from last week’s loss to Dublin to keep their Liam McCarthy Cup dream alive for 2013.

And in the process they knocked out their great rivals Tipperary with a 0-20 to 1-14 win in Nowlan Park.

“We knew we weren’t dead,” Larkin told TV3 after the game. “People kept writing us off. As we proved over the years, there’s life left in the old dog yet.We weren’t happy with the way we played in the championship so far. We spoke a lot about it during the week and we knew there was a big performance in us.

“The character and the leadership in that dressing-room is what spurred us on. There’s great hurlers there and even when Henry isn’t there, there’s other players to step into the plate.”

Cody

Kilkenny boss Brian Cody praised his team for having all the answers to the questions that were asked of them.

“It was a consequence for losing for both teams tonight, you’re out of the championship the first week of July. They didn’t want that to happen, we didn’t want that to happen. So it was just fight for it. Super game, we’re just thrilled to be victorious.

“This was just about us focusing on our heads after last Saturday night. Dublin beat us and deservingly so. But the focus was excellent tonight. All the questions were asked but thankfully we had all the answers tonight.”

INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Shefflin

And Cody admitted it was ‘a huge lift’ for everyone in the Kilkenny camp when Henry Shefflin came off the bench after a long spell on the sidelines through injury.

“Henry hasn’t played a match in 8 months. He worked so hard to come back. He pushed himself to the limits. It was just a huge lift to everybody, the crowd, the team. He’s been trying so hard. His fitness levels are exemplary.”

Henry’s back… but will he play tonight?

As it happened: Kilkenny v Tipperary, All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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