Eoin Larkin impressed with Kilkenny's defiance
By Cian O’Connell
Eoin Larkin was encouraged by the defiance demonstrated by Kilkenny during Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League Final at Nowlan Park.
The former Kilkenny forward is impressed with how Brian Cody’s charges recovered following two defeats early in the competition.
“It was brilliant, I don't think anyone in Kilkenny expected that kind of a performance,” Larkin remarks. “They showed real heart and guts and will to win. That was a big thing, they refused to be beaten even though things looked that they were going against them in the first half when Tipperary got the goal. They just kept plugging away, kept fighting and refused to be beaten.”
Brian Cody’s blend of established and young players delivered in style and Larkin feels the Cats are well primed for the Leinster Championship now.
“Exactly, they have used all their experiences from the start of the League and they brought it all to Nowlan Park on Sunday,” Larkin says.
“They got good performances from most lads, they know what is required now for inter-county level and just need to continue that on a consistent basis. It leaves Kilkenny in a good position going into the Championship, confidence will be high.
“They won't be jumping out of their skin, Brian will have them back down to earth fairly quick. You'd always be in good form going into training after a performance like that.”
Larkin is encouraged by how the striped young hurlers are progressing. “Absolutely and they have taken the experience that they got last year in the Championship and Brian has honed in on it.
“They have improved immensely since the start of the League against Cork. I thought they were very average that night, but they have taken all those experiences and used them in a positive way.
“Ultimately it culminated in a very good performance and they have a panel to pick from now with two or three to still come back into the panel. With them experienced lads to come back in they seem to be in a good place heading into the Championship. There will be really good competition for places now.
Larkin is looking forward to watching the hurling action unfold this summer. “It definitely is interesting, but if teams pick up knocks or if people are picking up niggly injuries it will be hard to get them right playing every week.
“If you have that bit of luck on your side and don't pick up many knocks you don't imagine there will be much change to the team.
“On the other side of it if you are trying to break into a team there won't be a whole lot of training in which to impress the manager. You will be relying on a couple of minutes here or there.
“It will certainly be interesting, I'm looking forward to watching it - I'm glad I'm not going to be involved in it - I certainly will watch it with great intent,” Larkin laughs.