Na Piarsaigh’s Kennedy clocking up the air miles

THE week after their historic county final victory, the difficult economic climate forced Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper Padraig Kennedy to depart Limerick for the US.

THE week after their historic county final victory, the difficult economic climate forced Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper Padraig Kennedy to depart Limerick for the US.

The 23 year old packed his hurley and his training ground for the last month was New York’s famed Central Park.

Last week, Kennedy returned home from America to play his role in another memorable success for Na Piarsaigh.

“I’m still suffering from a bit of jet lag - my sleep patterns are all over the place,” he joked as Na Piarsaigh celebrated their Munster semi-final win in Waterford.

He added: “In fairness to the lads they have been very accommodating”.

“There is a lot of talk already,” he said of another potential transatlantic journey for the Munster final.

But Sunday wasn’t decision time.

“I was doing a bit but we had freak snow there about two weeks ago so that curtailed me a bit,” he explained of his New York training regime.

“Two or three of the lads that I live with have hurleys - I do a lot of pucking around and I was down in Central Park last week and there were a lot of looks coming from different directions wondering what was going on - it’s a great experience but to come home to this is even better,” said the Na Piarsaigh No1.

“This is pretty amazing - I didn’t think it would be this good. This is a special atmosphere, something totally different. We have had a great year and its been special for the club.”

Kennedy was full of praise for his Na Piarsaigh defence.

“People talk about our forwards and that our backs are the problem but we have only conceded goals in one game this year - five in a row of clean sheets. The lads have been brilliant in front of me - I have had nothing to do for the last three games. The lads have been immense,” outlined Kennedy.

Although trailing by seven points entering the final quarter, Kennedy remained confident.

“I don’t know why but I had a good feeling, just like in the county final, I remember turning to the umpire and actually told him that we would still win it and we were 0-11 to 0-4 down. He said it would go down to the wire and luckily we came through,” he recalled.

“Shane O’Neill told us before the game that this was going to be much tougher than any match that we had ever played and he was dead right, it was so intense but brilliant.”