CHATTING to a few hurling people after the win over Kerry I suggested that Eddie Brennan might not have been happy about conceding 1-21 even if Laois had scored five goals.
It was pointed out to me that such a trend was very similar to the way Kilkenny played in their heyday. It didn’t really matter how much you conceded as long as you kept racking up goals.
So when it was put to the Laois manager that this was something of a Kilkenny trademark he didn’t deny or confirm it. He did however point out how important goals can be.
“They (the goals) came at real good times and we never let Kerry get within that three or four points and even when we got it up to six or seven or eight in the first half, I think when you have that cushion it makes it very difficult for opposition because they have to work so hard because every time they got a couple of scores were were able to tag one (goal) on.”
So was he happy then with the overall performance?
“We had lads running and carry the ball and lads in support play, that’s when we made life a bit easier for ourselves. We tightened it up in the second half and worked the ball really well through the lines.”
The starting line up was changed prior to throw-in and a few positional changes thrown in, was this a plan to upset kerry?
“Did I think coming down here it was going to be easy? Far from it. I was never as wound up before a game because there was s huge prize for today.
“You have to look at what’s happening and you have to be fair to fellas and give them an opportunity to get into a match because sometimes there an ebb and flow and maybe the ball doesn’t come your way.
“We got a right good start and then Kerry came roaring back and I suppose the ‘championship quarter’ was the 15 minutes after half time and we hurt Kerry a lot in that period, but it was only when we did what can do well.”
When you have experienced the very best of times hurling with a county of Kilkenny’s calibre Brennan’s replay when asked about getting to final was hardly surprising.
“My own motto is finals are for winning not for playing in. Yes it has been a massive season and I’m delighted for the players because they have worked hard. Look, lads have fallen away as the year went on but these lads have stayed the course and worked really, really hard.
“They’re out here on the field now enjoying themselves and they should be. These occasions have to be enjoyed. But we’re only in the final and now we have to get our heads really down and get tuned in.”
But there is of course one game before the final, that’s next Saturday against Westmeath who are likely to be in the final along with Laois, and Brennan gave a bit if a hint about the team that might flay next weekend.
“Next week we have another big match. We have the luxury of being there so it’s maybe the opportunity to give some lads some game time but we also have to be fair to every other team in the competition.
“It’s all about the players no matter what way you look at it. They spoke in the room today about how the prize today was huge for them, it was a day out in Croke Park for them, the day of the Leinster final.
“That’s what hurling is all about. You have to go and earn your right to play on the big days, and we have. Now w e have to keep our feet on the ground and prepare for that.”