Super-sub Colin Fennelly itching for Cats starting role

Declan Rooney

Former Kilkenny All-Star Colin Fennelly is desperate to make the cut for his side’s All-Ireland quarter-final with Limerick this weekend.

Kilkenny and Limerick meet in Thurles on Sunday as Brian Cody’s side look to bounce back after their seven-point loss to All-Ireland champions Galway.

The 28-year-old Ballyhale clubman came on as a half-time substitute for Billy Ryan and scored 1-1 after his introduction in the Leinster final replay.

But the three-time All-Ireland winning forward is determined to land a place in the starting 15 for this crucial knockout game.

I would love to be starting, Hopefully I did enough to make the start the next day. I don’t know if I did but we will regroup again,” said Fennelly.

“If we didn’t fight back against Galway it would be hard to go out again against Limerick. You want to regroup but we know it’s in us out there. We know the scores are there. It’s just to move on from the Galway game, freshen up and regroup, and go out against Limerick.”

Kilkenny trailed by 12 points before half-time at Semple Stadium last Sunday but bounced back to reduce the arrears to a single point at one stage, bolstered by some experienced substitutes like Fennelly and Richie Hogan.

But Fennelly knows that the 2015 All-Ireland champions will need to up it another gear to advance to the final four.

“It was a good fightback against Galway. At half-time it was hard to know where to go from there because they are a very good team,” said Fennelly.

“It was probably just the other games, the Wexford match we did come back.

“Against Clare we came back, in the league. We know we are able to do it. Galway just have too much class there. It was six or seven points in the end again, it’s just crazy how much firepower they do have.

To come back within one was fantastic. It was a massive rush. We just didn’t have enough in us to keep going.

Fennelly dismissed the idea Kilkenny will struggle with another swift turnaround against a Limerick side who had a straightforward win over Carlow last weekend.

“We are probably just used to it now at this stage with all of the matches, with the way the round-robin and how all of that went. It’s no different for the Limerick lads as well.

“You want to play every weekend. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

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