There’s precious little time for counties competing in the Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship to look in the rear view mirror.
Round 1 provided plenty of talking points but attention has already switched to next Sunday and the games in Nowlan Park and Innovate Wexford Park.
For Kilkenny, it’s a chance to go top of the table with two wins out of two, whereas Offaly and Dublin will hope to make up for the disappointment of defeats last weekend and Wexford will be determined to get their campaign off to a winning start.
The new-look format has received a thumbs-up from supporters and there’s a big demand for tickets for this Sunday’s duels.
Dublin almost achieved the perfect start last Sunday at Parnell Park, only to be denied by a late Liam Blanchfield goal for Kilkenny, who snatched victory by 1-24 to 3-16.
Speaking afterwards, Brian Cody emphasised the importance of playing to the final whistle and their never-say-die attitude was rewarded once again.
But Dublin went down with heads held high after a performance in which Liam Rushe, Conal Keaney and others stood tall.
It won’t be easy to rise to the challenge so soon again, but their performance will instil belief that they are a match for all teams in the province. Similarly, Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford enjoyed a superb victory at home to Kilkenny in last year’s semi-final and will be determined to build on last year’s progress.
Wexford had the benefit of assessing the opposition after receiving a bye in the first round, but from now on they will be putting the pedal to the metal, with four games in successive weeks.
Improving Offaly went toe-to-toe with Galway for most of the first half at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park before falling away. The concession of five goals left 12 points between the sides at the finish, but the Faithful County lack nothing in spirit and while their recent record against Kilkenny is poor, their performance in the counties’ recent league clash helped boost their confidence.
After next Sunday, Round 3 games are Offaly v Wexford (26th May) and Galway v Kilkenny (27th May).