Kilkenny V Galway – Cody has something to smile about as top Cats return
By COLIN BARTLEY
THE Cats face their biggest challenge of the year so far this weekend against Galway, but Brian Cody will at least have a much stronger stack to play with this time around.
The Kilkenny coach will be relieved to have some of his biggest names who have been side-lined through injury in recent weeks returning to fitness, giving him some welcome selection headaches ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
Cillian Buckley, Conor Delaney, and Richie Hogan are all back in training and could play a part this weekend’s vital clash.
Definitely out, however, is Glenmore netminder Eoin Murphy, who’s still a few weeks away from full fitness after he picked up a leg injury in a club game over Easter.
Galway, the 2018 All-Ireland Champions, come to Nowlan Park this Sunday still smarting from Wexford’s stunning comeback in Salthill in their last game.
The Tribesmen know any more slip-ups could see their summer cut short as Kilkenny, Galway, Wexford and Dublin are all still in the hunt for those three spots in the All-Ireland series.
Despite missing a number of key players through injury earlier in the campaign, Cody’s Cats are in a strong position to progress to the Leinster Final. Kilkenny’s three main rivals in the championship have all drawn at least one game, two in the case of Wexford.
The Cats had a routine win over Carlow and despite a scare against Dublin showed some mettle to come through a potentially tricky start to their Leinster campaign.
But now the real hard work begins: first against Galway in Nowlan Park on Sunday before travelling to Innovate Wexford Park the following week, where Wexford and Davy Fitz’s season could be on the line.
A win for Kilkenny this weekend will see Galway sweating on that result in Wexford with the Tribesmen’s final provincial test coming against the Dubs – who will also be looking to progress from Leinster – in Parnell Park.