Kilkenny have backed up last year’s incredible Championship form by nearly completing a clean sweep of Group 1. The Cats were unbeaten as they finished on ten points and ended up topping the group.
Kilkenny defeated Waterford, Galway and Dublin along the way but an unexpected draw down in Ennis to the Banner meant that they were still fighting for top spot right up until the end of the final game against Dublin.
Speaking at the Semi-Finals photocall Grace Walsh reflected on the campaign so far, “The Clare game was very tough and we were disappointed with that but once we came up against Dublin and Galway we got our act together.”
Having also captured this year’s National League Division 1 title Kilkenny are very much the team to beat, “We’re the ones to beat in everyone else’s eyes at the moment and looking back last year we really would have been gunning for Cork because they would have been All-Ireland Champions.”
The Cats will now come up against Dublin in the last four. The Dubs shocked Wexford in the last round with a hugely impressive win and have been the story of the Championship so far as this will be their first Semi-Final appearance since 1990.
Both sides have already met in this year’s campaign in the final round of group games and it was the Cats who comfortably came out on top by a 14 point margin. However, the Dubs are in great form and Walsh says every game from here on in will be tough, “I think going on we’ve got to treat everyone the same because we want to get to the All-Ireland Final and so every game is going to be tough.”
Kilkenny face Dublin this Saturday 19th August in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick as part of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Finals Double-Header with Cork and Galway going head-to-head in the other tie.
Saturday August 19th
Gaelic Grounds, Limerick
Dublin v Kilkenny
Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)
Cork v Galway
Referee: Eamon Cassidy (Derry)
*Extra-time to be played in the event of a draw in either game.
12-18 year olds: €3
Under 12s: Free
Tickets can be purchased from selected Centra and SuperValu stores nationwide
Tickets will also be available to purchase at the ground on the day of the match.
Both games will also be broadcast live on RTÉ Two television as well as on the RTÉ Player worldwide.