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Kilkenny will continue to break hearts, warns O'Kane

By John Campbell

Gary O'Kane, until recently a member of the Antrim management team, still has a vivid recollection of the Saffrons' heartbreaking 2-18 to 1-19 All-Ireland semi-final hurling defeat to Kilkenny in 1991.

O'Kane, who marked Cats legend DJ Carey when he first played at Casement Park, believes Kilkenny's psyche is such that the word 'defeat' is not in their dictionary in terms of tomorrow's semi-final against Waterford.

"Waterford will be assailed by doubts following their defeat against Tipperary and this will go against them," insisted O'Kane. "I played against Kilkenny on numerous occasions and even then their focus on winning was almost frightening. I think Waterford will do well to hold them to a handful of points."

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has tweaked his side but the response has been the same - rugged intensity, unrelenting commitment and silken skills.

In the All-Ireland U21 Hurling Championship, Armagh will seek to atone for the embarrassment of failing to field teams in different competitions by getting the better of Roscommon at Athleague tomorrow.

In the All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Football Championship, Down take on Wicklow in Dublin today hoping to atone for their Ulster final defeat by Tyrone. Down boss Conor O'Neill said: "This is a big challenge for us but the players are ready for it."

Cavan meet Laois in the All-Ireland Ladies Senior Championship at Birr tomorrow with reigning champions Cork awaiting the winner.

Belfast Telegraph

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