Murphy still determined to make championship mark

These may be frustrating times for Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy, but he knows that things could be much worse, as the temperatures begin to rise.

Murphy still determined to make championship mark

These may be frustrating times for Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy, but he knows that things could be much worse, as the temperatures begin to rise.

Murphy suffered an upper tibia fracture during a club game in April that has ruled him out of the championship for at least another four weeks, yet he still adopts a glass-half-full approach to his enforced lay-off.

The keeper reasoned: “It has been a good time to be injured, if that makes sense, rather than sustaining an injury now which could potentially be a season-ending one.”

Dalo's Hurling Show: Tipp quench the inferno. Kiely's statement. The Déise inquest

Derek McGrath and Ger Cunningham review the weekend's hurling with Anthony Daly

Given his accuracy from long-range frees, along with his abilities as a shot stopper, some feared Murphy’s absence would seriously impact on Kilkenny’s Leinster campaign.

However, one win from their final two games should ensure the Cats live on beyond June and Darren Brennan has deputised well in the absence of the first-choice man. Murphy admits he has no fears for Brennan, given his experience at club and county level.

Before the Dublin game, I would have had a few words with him to treat it like any other match and not to get too caught up in either.

"He’s hurled minor, he’s played U21, he’s played All-Ireland finals so he has loads of experience.

“In the last couple of years, he has been the top club goalie in Kilkenny. There is loads of ability there, but if you start thinking about things too much, it doesn’t come naturally to you, and hurling doesn’t allow you to stop and think. You’re going to become somewhat robotic and it just won’t work. The key is to let your ability take over.”

Seeing Brennan perform well genuinely gives Murphy comfort, but not as much as his brother Alan putting in some solid displays this year.

Obviously, you want to see him doing well and playing, but whoever is in any position you really wish him the best, because it benefits everyone.

I’m here to play and do well myself and if I’m doing well, the team is doing well. It’s a constant knock-on effect and you want to be winning competitions, be it league or Leinster, or the All-Ireland.

“Regardless of how it’s done or who is playing, you want to see them doing well. That’s the way it is.”

Kilkenny return to Nowlan Park on Sunday for the first time since Greg Kennedy’s intervention in stopping a quick Kilkenny free in their tie against Dublin. Murphy understands the actions of the Dublin selector.

“I thought we were building ourselves into the game and it happened at a good time. It brought the crowd into it. It was a great catch; he was a good man-marker back in his day.

“From the crowd’s point of view, the atmosphere ramped up a couple of notches, but I thought our end ball into our full-forward line just wasn’t sticking and we didn’t take the right options at certain times for goals. In the second half, we started taking those.

“It (Kennedy’s catch) added a bit of spice to it, but that’s the way it goes. Myself and my father attend a lot of football games [in Croke Park] and we always try to get a seat up at the top, because you can see everything. [Éamonn] Fitzmaurice was on about how you have a tactical runner and there are so much tactics involved now. If you can get any sort of any edge then you’re not going to refuse it.”

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.