The figures that define one of Dublin’s best all rounders, Ciaran Kilkenny.
Dublin’s Senior Footballers have become a model of consistency across a number years. They’ve managed to take on every style game put up against them, solidifying them as the best team of the modern era.
Although Dublin’s diversity is a key element in their success, there are certain constants that define the boys in blue today.
You can never look past their captain and net minder Stephen Cluxton, who tomorrow will make his 101st League appearance for the Dubs. Add his championship record to this and it will be 192 fixtures Stephen has competed in.
Also riding the crest of the current Dublin wave is Raheny’s Brian Fenton. Since his senior debut, Fenton has only suffered one defeat, and that was in last year’s Allianz League Final against tomorrow’s opponents Kerry.
But one player that the statistics stack up for is Castleknock, and Dublin’s on field leader Ciaran Kilkenny. Tomorrow will be Ciaran’s 13th consecutive start in the blue jersey. Today The Examiner threw some interesting numbers about the versatile star footballer.
A strange one to include, but despite his scoring record in league and championship, Ciaran has yet to register an All Ireland Final score, even though he’s appeared in as many as five finals. One reason for that has been his role in the half-back line, breaking down opposition play and recycling the attack through midfield.
Quite simply the number of Championship defeats Kilkenny has experienced, and that was back in 2012 against Mayo in the All Ireland Semi Final. Obviously Dublin suffered defeat to Donegal in the 2014 Semi Final, but due to a serious cruciate injury earlier that year, Kilkenny was not part of that panel.
Ciaran is not known for a history of disciplinary faults, but last year he recorded his only two dismissals. In the heated league round game against Kerry in Austin Stack Park, he picked up a second yellow card for a cynical foul to breakdown a Kerry attack.
His other dismissal was in the dying seconds of last year’s All Ireland Final. Ciaran received a black card immediately after Dean Rock had scored the winning point.
Over five years, Ciaran has been on the losing side only five times, which is an incredible stat. He’ll remember the 2013 loss to Tyrone in the league, because his game was ended after six minutes when he suffered the cruciate injury that ended his season. Add to that last years League Final defeat to Kerry, the 2012 All Ireland Semi Final against Mayo, the 2014 league defeat to Cork and the 2015 league defeat to Kerry.
Ciaran’s Leinster story started in 2014 and thankfully he, along with most of the panel have enjoyed twelve provincial wins.
In the cut throat world that is the Dublin panel, you’re position is guaranteed based on your performance on any given day. Ciaran has featured in 28 Championship games for Dublin. Of those 28 he has started and ended 23 of them, showing his outstanding contribution.
Dublin’s unbeaten streak of 36 games may now be a distant memory to some, but it was monumental before it came to a close last year. Ciaran only missed out on two of those encounters; the 2016 League win over Monaghan, and the 2017 win over Roscommon.
Kilkenny debuted for the Senior Footballers in 2012. Since then he’s appeared in 34 League games and 28 Championship appearances, totalling 62 games. Of the 62 Kilkenny played 45 of them in full, from throw in to final whistle.
A nice high winning percentage for the Castleknock club man. 51 wins, 6 draws and only 5 defeats. 82% win rate so far. 89% win rate in Championship and 76% in the League.
No denying Ciaran can score and over the years he’s amounted 2-85. While his point scoring has been a consistent part of his, the goals have come more recently. one in the last league game against Mayo, and the other in Dublin’s Leinster Championship win over Westmeath last year.
Kilkenny has started off this year on a high too, scoring in all four league games.
The numbers really don’t lie.