Beaten, but unbowed: thousands pack into Nowlan Park to welcome heroes home
By COLIN BARTLEY
THAT red card was still the focus of the management and the players as the fans packed into Nowlan Park and lined the streets of the city to welcome home the Kilkenny Senior and Minor hurling teams yesterday evening.
Brian Cody told the crowd he was disappointed this side didn’t get to see out the game with 15 players, but said he was very proud of what they achieved this year.
The fans turned out in great numbers despite our seniors and minors arriving home empty-handed and both teams received a great reception from the fans who packed into the Ardan De Gras stand in the county grounds.
The teams left the Castle Grounds on two open-top buses at 6.30pm and travelled through Rose Anne and John Street, eventually arriving at Nowlan Park after 7.20pm.
Kilkenny Minor hurling manager Richie Mulroney led his team onto the stage first. He told the crowd: “They gave it their all and they should be proud.”
Next up came Cody and the senior team. He started by thanking Kilkenny’s great supporters who he said were with the team every step of the way on their amazing journey this year.
Unsurprisingly, his speech did address that red card and how he felt it impacted on the game.
“We are hugely disappointed and we didn’t get the chance to fight it out to the bitter end,” Cody said.
“To have 15 men compete against 15 men. Instead, we had just 14 men. We should be so proud of our players.
“The team kept going with real spirit. We have outstanding satisfaction with the players. Everyone played a very important part in the whole journey and final match.”