Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship
Dicksboro v Clara
After winning the All-Ireland senior hurling championship, it is back to club action for Kilkenny’s hurling heroes this weekend and what better way to kick off the championship than a clash between Dicksboro and Clara in Jenkinstown on Sunday.
So far this year, Clara have not been in top form and finished at the bottom of their group in the Senior hurling league having lost three games out of five. These losses were incurred against Ballyhale Shamrocks who beat them 4-12 to 1-16, St Martins’ and Fenians. They did earn a creditable draw against Dunamaggin and beat Eddie Brennan’s Graigue-Ballycallan.
Once again, Clara will be led by former Kilkenny star, Conor Phelan and his older brother, Brian. They can also rely on powerful centre-back, David Langton to put in a solid performance while up front, James Nolan and Liam Ryan will lead the forward line for last year’s quarter-finalists.
As expected, this Clara team has familiar surnames with Prendergast and Langton being synonymous with the club throughout the years.
Dicksboro also come into this game with the exact same record as their opponents with one draw and one win in their group of the league. They earned a draw against Erins Own and beat Tommy Walsh’s Tullaroan but were heavily defeated by the big guns, O’Loughlin Gaels and Carrickshock. They also suffered a defeat to James Stephens.
However, in their first year in the senior ranks since their promotion from Intermediate last year, survival may well be their main aim for the year.
Just like last year, they will be hoping that centre-forward Martin Gaffney will be able to repeat his heroics of last year’s All-Ireland Intermediate final when he scored 0-12. Up front, he will be assisted by Adrian Stapleton and Shane Maher.
Clara probably have the greater experience and should win through.