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Kingdom break new ground in Leinster SHC 2016-04-28 22:18:00

Confident Kerry face Carlow as the Kingdom break new ground in Leinster SHC
By Murt Murphy

Kerry’s first taste of Liam McCarthy since 2014 and players, management and hurling followers are lapping it up. Forget the geography of it because Kerry will be breaking new ground when they take on Carlow in the Leinster Championship Round Robin Group qualifier on Sunday, and a win could eventually see the Kingdom playing in the a Leinster quarterfinal against either Galway or Laois.

So with a new wave of confidence and optimism sweeping through the Kerry hurling fraternity, can the Kingdom fashion two wins from three outings against Carlow (h), Westmeath (h) and Offaly (a) and reach the Holy Grail?

Kerry boss Ciaran Carey is not getting carried away and is happy with the progress the side made through the league but he reckons that they tweaked their preparations because league and Championship are two different animals, “ The preparation has changed slightly because your League preparation was on the focus of maintaining our status in Division 1B and we achieved that, now we are going into a new phase of the championship which is a round robin and we’re going to deal with that right now and then, whatever comes after that, we will deal with that then. Right now it’s a matter of pulling the handbrake because the boys are ready for rock and roll really”

The Patrickswell legend is aware that expectation is high in the Kingdom right now and he maintains Kerry still has some improving to do, “Expectation will be slightly higher. I believe it will be like it was before our last League game here in Austin Stack Park against Laois. I think it was 57 years since we last beat Laois in the League and thankfully we beat them twice in the space of 2 months so it’s a matter of staying on top of the lads mentality and keeping them grounded, if we drop our level Carlow will be confident of winning obviously but if they maintain the standard that they set for themselves then I think the scoreboard at that stage then usually looks after itself. “

What about Carlow – they will be underdogs and have nothing to lose?
“Carlow have caused a shock or two over the past two years. We will be treating it as the first round of a championship game. It’s on Sunday and irrespective of the opposition we will be going out and dictating the way we are going to play just as we did in the League to the best of our ability. That is the way we will be looking at it and we will be concentrating on our own game and not the opposition. . We will be going out the same way as we did against Laois because that is our template. But we are only as good as our last game and we will be trying starting our games much better, which we haven’t always being doing and we have been doing work around that. We will also be trying to cut out mistakes we make in a game though you will never eliminate every error. So basically we will start from where we left off the Laois game”

So this young and vibrant Kerry side take on Carlow , a side that have been waiting in the long grass for this game on May 1st and they could turn out to be a dangerous animal unless Kerry bring their “A” game. But a repeat of the display against Laois would be enough and let’s wish Ciaran Carey, his management team and the players the best on Sunday.
Throw-in in Tralee’s Austin Stack Park is at the earlier time of 1pm.