Cody: Absent Jackie Tyrrell magnificent in every way
EVERY year Brian Cody is asked how the All-Ireland Kilkenny have just won compares to the rest of them and every year he folds his arms, smiles and says that the most recent one is always the most satisfying.
Yesterday's was truly remarkable, though.
Not for Kilkenny's second fiddle performance in the first half or the life they squeezed from Galway in the second, but for the scale of injury misfortune the team has endured through the season.
"Jackie Tyrrell fought like a dog to get back for today and was so close to making it back but just wasn't absolutely there to play," Cody began in chronicling their woe.
"Richie Power gets a few minutes on the field today, just got some hurling into him since the semi-final, but working away on his own up to then.
"Richie Hogan pulled a quad muscle 10 days ago and it was just completely touch and go whether he'd be able to play this game or not.
"Michael Fennelly's injuries obviously were well chronicled. Eoin Larkin cracked his thumb two weeks ago, took it out of the cast on Wednesday and I thought he was outstanding."
One of those absent, Tyrrell, was apparently responsible for the speech that awoke Kilkenny from an uncharacteristically drowsy patch in that first-half.
"Certainly Jackie drove forward the thing before the game and at half-time, very, very much," Cody explained.
"He was very, very vocal in his drive to ensure the thing would be driven forward, but as were so many of the players, starting players and non-starting players, it's a whole panel thing really.
"But he was magnificent in every way," concluded the Kilkenny manager.