60 not out

FAMILIAR POSE: Brian Cody has guided Kilkenny to some of the greatest victories of their history since taking charge in November 1998. Picture: Inpho/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Today, the greatest manager in the history of hurling turns 60. Here we celebrate Brian Cody’s birthday by ranking just as many of his most important victories.

1. 2012 All-Ireland final replay, beat Galway 3-22 to 3-11

“The sweetest,” as the Cats themselves described it. Cody’s ninth All-Ireland title. Bossed in the Leinster final by Galway, they returned to winning ways in style.

2. 2011 All-Ireland final, beat Tipperary 2-17 to 1-16

The wounds of 2010 were balmed with this terrific victory, Michael Fennelly’s first-half goal a highlight of their power. A win never in doubt.

3. 2009 All-Ireland final, beat Tipperary 2-22 to 0-23

Perhaps not Kilkenny’s greatest final performance but most certainly their strongest finish, in a modern day classic to seal the four in a row.

4. 2006 All-Ireland final, beat Cork 1-16 to 1-13

Stopping Cork’s three in a row meant so much, after the Rebels derailed their own attempt in 2004.

5. 2008 All-Ireland final, beat Waterford 3-30 to 1-13

Waterford’s attempts to ruffle their feathers at the outset failed. A tremendous show of might to confirm the three in a row.

6. 2007 All-Ireland final, beat Limerick 2-19 to 1-15

A day of boys and men. Limerick were mere pupils against the masters.

7. 2003 All-Ireland final, beat Cork 1-14 to 1-11

Would have meant a lot to Cody personally after Cork’s young bloods stunned him in his first season.

8. 2002 All-Ireland final, beat Clare 2-20 to 0-19

Those who said DJ Carey never played well in an All-Ireland final should review this game. Defeat to Galway in 2001 put to bed.

9. 2000 All-Ireland final, beat Offaly 5-15 to 1-14

You always remember your first kiss. The first real indication of Kilkenny’s explosiveness.

10. 2013 All-Ireland qualifier phase 2, beat Tipperary 0-20 to 1-14

Tipperary thought they smelt Kilkenny’s blood. Turned out, it was their own.

11. 2012 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Tipperary 4-24 to 1-15

A day when Tipperary resorted to bizarre tactics, and their neighbours punished them mercilessly.

12. 2002 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Tipperary 1-20 to 1-16

A brilliant clash, punctuated by DJ Carey’s crafty display in the face of serious Tipperary opposition.

13. 2004 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Waterford 3-12 to 0-18

Henry Shefflin was the leader as they reached the final via the backdoor for the first time. Just about.

14. 2004 All-Ireland quarter-final replay, beat Clare 1-11 to 0-9

At the second time of asking, figured out Anthony Daly’s sweeper system.

15. 1999 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Clare 2-14 to 1-13

Ger Loughnane was bested as Cody’s Kilkenny reached their first final.

16. 2009 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Waterford 2-23 to 3-15

Much better from the Déise than the previous year’s final but still not enough.

17. 2010 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Cork 3-22 to 0-19

Another Kilkenny victory signed, sealed and delivered before half-time. Five-in-a-row dreams remained alive.

18. 2003 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Tipp 3-18 to 0-15

Goals from Shefflin, Tommy Walsh and Eddie Brennan sent them on their way.

19. 2006 All-Ireland quarter-final beat Galway 2-22 to 3-14

Meant a great deal to Kilkenny having been caught by Niall Healy’s hat-trick of goals the previous season.

20. 2013 All-Ireland qualifier phase 3, beat Waterford 1-22 to 2-16 (aet)

A mini-collapse at the end of normal time was rectified in extra-time.

21. 2000 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Galway 2-19 to 0-17

A fine day out for Denis Byrne, with five points from play.

22. 2011 Leinster final, beat Dublin 4-15 to 1-17

That year’s league final defeat to Dublin was forgotten about with this win, Kilkenny’s seventh straight provincial title.

23. 2006 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Clare 2-21 to 1-16

Just the 1-13 from Shefflin. Majestic stuff.

24. 2014 Division 1 final, beat Tipperary 2-25 to 1-27 (aet)

Like so many times, Kilkenny caught up with hot-out-of-the-traps Tipperary to beat them by more than a head.

25. 2003 Division 1 final, beat Tipp 5-20 to 5-14 (aet)

Many more than were actually there claim they were in attendance. A firm example of the Cats’ character.

26. 2011 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Waterford 2-19 to 1-16

Richie Hogan struck for two goals in this convincing win.

27. 2008 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Cork 1-23 to 0-17

The counties’ rivalry was nothing to close to as strong as it was between 2003 and 2006.

28. 2007 All-Ireland semi-final, beat Wexford 0-23 to 1-10

No goals for Kilkenny but it didn’t matter. Shefflin fired over 14 points.

29. 2002 Leinster final, beat Wexford 0-19 to 0-17

Liam Dunne was sent off as Kilkenny edged a tense encounter.

30. 2014 Leinster semi-final replay, beat Galway 3-19 to 1-17

After they spectacularly “lost” the first game, Kilkenny made no mistake the second time around.

31. 1999 Leinster final, beat Offaly 5-14 to 1-16

Cody’s inaugural provincial title. Plenty more were to come.

32. 2012 All-Ireland quarter-final, beat Limerick 4-16 to 1-16

Shefflin bagged two goals as Kilkenny began to get that year’s Leinster final defeat out of their hair.

33. 2007 All-Ireland quarter-final, beat Galway 3-22 to 1-18

Postponed because of the tragic death of James McGarry’s wife Vanessa, it was an emotive afternoon.

34. 2014 Leinster final, beat Dublin 0-24 to 1-9

A first provincial title in three years and not a glove was laid on them.

35. 2013 Division 1 final, beat Tipperary 2-17 to 0-20

JJ Delaney, along with Lar Corbett, was sent off but Kilkenny never lost their composure in Nowlan Park.

36. 2005 Leinster final, beat Wexford 0-22 to 1-16

Leinster superiority reinstated after losing their way in 2004.

37. 2004 All-Ireland qualifier round 2, beat Galway 4-20 to 1-10

A tasty victory in the counties’ first SHC meeting since Kilkenny’s 2001 All-Ireland semi-final defeat.

38. 2003 Leinster final, beat Wexford 2-23 to 2-12

More like it from Kilkenny after run so close the previous summer by Wexford. Fifth Leinster title in as many years for Cody.

39. 2009 Leinster final, beat Dublin 2-18 to 0-18

The new pretenders were shown the door thanks to Martin Comerford’s brace of goals.

40. 2010 Leinster final, beat Galway 1-19 to 1-12

New faces in a Leinster final but they were disfigured as Shefflin fired 1-7.

41. 2009 Division 1 final, beat Tipperary 2-26 to 4-17

A rip-roaring decider where Tipp led by eight at half-time only to be reeled in as Kilkenny exemplified their strength in depth.

42. 2008 Leinster final, beat Wexford 5-21 to 0-17

A 19-point cakewalk as Eddie Brennan disembowelled Wexford.

43. 2013 Leinster quarter-final, beat Offaly 0-26 to 4-9

Cody’s first game back in charge after his heart operation.

44. 2001 Leinster final, beat Wexford 2-19 to 0-12

Charlie Carter was in his element as Cody’s Cats won their third Leinster title in a row.

45. 2000 Leinster final, beat Offaly 2-21 to 1-13

Carey and Carter struck for goal in a facile win.

46. 2012 Leinster semi-final, beat Dublin 2-21 to 0-9

We had led ourselves to believe Dublin’s time had come. Nobody told Kilkenny.

47. 2007 Leinster final, beat Wexford 2-24 to 1-12

Willie O’Dwyer’s 2-3 was the story of the day in a comfortable win.

48. 2005 All-Ireland quarter-final, beat Limerick 0-18 to 0-13

Kilkenny’s first All-Ireland quarter-final as Leinster champions during the three-year system change in the mid-2000s.

49. 2006 Leinster final, beat Wexford 1-23 to 2-12

Kilkenny weren’t all that great to be provincial kingpins again but then they didn’t need to be.

50. 1999 Leinster quarter-final, beat Laois 6-21 to 1-14

Where it began — Cody’s first Championship game in charge.

51. 2009 Division 1 round game, beat Cork 4-26 to 0-11

Cork’s strikers returned only to be served this crushing defeat in Nowlan Park.

52. 2005 Leinster semi-final, beat Offaly 6-28 to 0-15

Few victories came more ruthless than this one.

53. 2009 Leinster semi-final, beat Galway 2-20 to 3-13

Galway’s introduction to the Leinster SHC wasn’t a welcome one.

54. 2005 Division 1 final, beat Clare 3-20 to 0-15

Clare, after a run of wins, were stopped firmly in their tracks to the tune of 14 points.

55. 2012 Division 1 final, beat Cork 3-21 to 0-16

Kilkenny were 14 up at half-time. Enough said.

56. 2002 Division 1 final, beat Cork 2-15 to 2-14

Sean and Brian Dowling did a fine salvage job on this game for Cody.

57. 2006 Division 1 final, beat Limerick 3-11 to 0-14

Goals and Shefflin mattered most on this occasion.

58. 2009 Division 1 round game, beat Tipperary 5-17 to 0-12

Martin Comerford scored three goals as the contest was all but over in the first half.

59. 2011 Division 1 round game, beat Tipperary 1-17 to 1-10

A psychological plus as Cody’s side put some distance between themselves and the previous September.

60. 2012 Division 1 round game, beat Tipperary 2-17 to 0-15

Since 2011, Kilkenny have kept their boots on Tipp’s necks. This was a classic example.


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