Battered Cats now saying Louth shouldn't have tried so hard 9 years ago

Battered Cats now saying Louth shouldn't have tried so hard

As we all know Kilkenny’s Under 21 footballers shipped a 50-point beating from Louth this week. Their excuse? Louth tried too hard.

It is hard to remember the last time a Leinster Under 21 football match generated so many headlines. Unfortunately for the GAA, and especially for Kilkenny, they are the wrong kind.

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The Cats footballers lost to Louth on Wednesday night 6-34 to 0-2, and the result alone was bad enough. But the stories emanating from Ballyragget after the game about only 15 Kilkenny players turning up and patchy or non-existent training sessions has put an uncomfortable spotlight on Kilkenny's attitude towards the big ball game.

Anyway, Jackie Cahill in today’s Irish Examiner managed to collar an interview with Kilkenny Football Board vice-chairman Tom Duggan to ask him about the debacle. His response?

"The management of the Louth team kept telling their lads, ‘no let up’," Duggan said. "They have a job to do as well but there was no need for 6-34 to 0-2.”

So Louth shouldn’t have tried so hard is his defence. Look, if it was Under 12s maybe he would have a case but this is the grade just below senior and an increasingly competitive one. Did Kilkenny ease up when their U21 hurlers beat Offaly by 29 points in the 2010 Leinster championship? Did the Kilkenny seniors ease up when they murdered Waterford in the 2008 All-Ireland final? Any pangs of guilt when the racked up 5-21 against Wexford that same year?

Everyone feels bad for the 15 lads who togged out for Kilkenny this week. We have all played on teams that got a hiding at some point. Being a footballer in such a hurling stronghold is bad enough without suffering a national humiliation like that. To then be defended in the manner above just rubs salt in the wounds.

Duggan goes on to say that the county board does all it can for the footballers, but the players just aren’t there. It is hard to see more flocking to the cause just yet.