Power hopes Cats learned lesson in drawn game against Cork

KILKENNY manager Maurice Power is the first to admit that his side are extremely lucky to be contesting today’s All-Ireland IHC final replay against Cork at Semple Stadium, Thurles, (2.30pm).

Power’s side overturned a 13 point deficit in the drawn game a fortnight ago at the same venue to force today’s tie.

“We were dreadfully poor in the first half of the drawn game but produced a great fight-back. This was a tremendous achievement and it speaks volumes for the character of this team,” said Power.

And he hopes that valuable lessons have been learned in the Cats’ camp over the past fortnight.

“In our previous three games we have really only played well for one half and we will be treading on dangerous ground if we continue this practice,” he said.

Power has made two changes for the replay with Sean Kealey and Eddie Walsh replacing Chris O’Neill and Peter Cleere. John Tennyson moves to right corner back with Kealey being introduced at right half back. Brian Phelan, scorer of the sensational last-gasp equalising goal in the draw is switched to centre forward.

Walsh is at left half forward to the exlusion of Cleere, who led the attack in the highly-dramatic drawn encounter.

According to Cork coach Johnny Keane: “the perception out there among the general public is that we blew the drawn game big-time. Naturally it was very disappointing to lose a 13-points advantage and it is our job now to get the lads into a positive frame of mind.

“Kilkenny will start favourites again because with an entirely different fifteen Cork only beat them by a point after extra time is last season’s decider and I certainly don’t expect to get a 13-points jump on them on this occasion,” he said.

The Cork coach said that he firmly believed that his charges have the character to overcome the bitter disappointment of a fortnight ago.

“I am confident that these Cork lads will do everything in their power to win this time out,” he said.

CORK: A Nash; J Crowley, L Hayes, R McCarthy; B Walsh, T Lordan, D Fitzgerald; T Healy, J Olden; J Russell, D Dineen, B O'Dwyer; E Conway, R Doherty, S Hayes.

KILKENNY: R O'Neill; J Tennyson, S Lanigan, P Costello; S Kealey, J Costello, J O'Neill; R Power, C Herity; D Buggy, B Phelan, E Walsh; M Grace, J Power, D Mackey.

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