Walsh says Kilkenny discipline ‘top notch’

ELEVEN DAYS out from facing Dublin in a second decider in as many months, Tommy Walsh has been moved to declare Kilkenny don’t have a discipline problem.

John Dalton and Eoin Larkin were suspended following the league final defeat to their Leinster decider opponents on a day when the behaviour of Brian Cody’s side was called into question.

There was no sign of any Kilkenny frustration in their facile win over Offaly last Saturday week.

However, the feeling was Dublin had antagonised the Cats to the point of retaliation.

Walsh, who missed the Wexford game with a shoulder injury but returned to training last weekend, believes too much has been made of the incidents in the league final.

“I don’t think we lost our discipline,” he insisted. “A lot of incidents go on in games right throughout the country, but in Croke Park there are cameras that see absolutely everything.

“If there was the same number of cameras at every game in the country in the last few weeks there’d be a lot more incidents from other teams. So I wouldn’t be honing in on that fact.

“Our discipline is top notch, always was and we have never had disciplinary problems.”

Although Henry Shefflin last week hinted Kilkenny fancied another tilt against Dublin, Walsh isn’t afraid to admit they are delighted to be facing Anthony Daly’s side again so soon after the league final.

“Any sports lad will tell you that when you’re beaten by a person or a team, that you’d like to play them fairly quickly again. We have a great chance in the Leinster final to play Dublin again because they have beaten us two out of the last three times we’ve played them. It gives us a great chance to prove that we’re still up for it.”

Should Walsh start in Croke Park on Sunday week, he maintains he won’t be holding back even if his shoulders are obvious and easy areas for opponents to test.

“No, if it goes it goes. Once I have it back fully right I won’t be worried. You can be injured any time.”

Walsh has now injured both shoulders over the last 12 months and the recent setback saw him miss his first championship game since making his debut back in 2003.

However, the eight-time All Star isn’t overly concerned that they will continue to plague him.

As he explained: “I ran into Jackie (Tyrrell) in a club game last year and did my left one. This year I hurt my right one against Richie Foley. And then I hurt the left one again (against O’Loughlin Gaels last month).

“I don’t know whether it’s just misfortune, or will keep happening. But please God once I have them built up a bit they should be grand. I’m not sure of the medical reasons behind it,” he added. “It didn’t dislocate or pop out so it would be a worry if that was happening. I think I was just unlucky. Over the winter I will have to build up the shoulders so I’ll be ok going forward.”

Picture: BOOT BOYS: At the launch of the adidas adipower Predator boot in Croke Park yesterday were: From left — Kilkenny hurlers Tommy Walsh and JJ Delaney; Galway star Joe Canning and Tipperary’s Eoin Kelly Picture: Sportsfile.

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