This Sunday’s All-Ireland final hurling replay has stoked up two entirely different feelings within the counties participating in it as James Skehill and Michael Fennelly confess.
For Galway’s Skehill it is a time of excitement yet again and the buzz which preceded the initial final at the beginning of September has re-introduced itself in the Connacht county.
However, for perennial Liam McCarthy Cup participants Kilkenny it is an entirely different feeling as Cats’ midfielder Fennelly has testified.
Fennelly told local radio’s KCLR96FM: “Normally there is huge buzz and hype around All-Ireland Final time, but it’s been a bit strange this time. The atmosphere and the aura is very, very strange.
“Even with the weather and that, and the nights without light in the evening time means we are training that bit earlier and even the field is not what it was two weeks ago.
“It is a strange feeling and a place we have never been before but we just have to get on with it and don’t make excuses.”
Whilst Fennelly may be wary and stepping into somewhat of an unknown as a Kilkenny hurler, Galway’s Skehill is relishing the second chance he and his team-mates have been given by the drawn final.
“I suppose we are still in a final, the trophy hasn’t got a home yet,” said the Cappataggle clubman. “Supporters are still anxious to see how things are going to go. We still have a big game to play, against one of the greatest teams of all time, so there is a lot of nervousness and excitement in the county.
“I’m sure the Kilkenny attack will come out all guns blazing, as will our lads. We will just try and prepare for their attack, as we did the last day, and hopefully that might be good enough.”