Cork hurling star Tom Kenny is to retire from the inter-county game.
The Grenagh clubman, who collected All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 2004 and ’05, will continue to line out for the Muskerry club but will not figure in the Rebels’ hurling plans for the coming season.
“I met Jimmy [Barry-Murphy] a couple of nights ago and told him,” said Kenny yesterday. “I said all along I’d wait until Grenagh were finished in the championship, and our season ended last Sunday when we won the intermediate football.”
Kenny, who also played senior football for Cork in the 2003 Munster championship, said his commitment to Grenagh was a factor in the decision to step down.
“I’m 32 now and I felt it was time to let other lads come through and have their chance. I’m healthy, it’s not because of injury.
“I’ve had a good innings with Cork, it would have been great to go out with a third All-Ireland medal this year, but it wasn’t to be.
“Now that Grenagh have been promoted in both hurling and football it’d be important for us to have everyone around and available for league games and so forth next year.
“We’re a small club and numbers would be tight — we’ve been trying to get to intermediate hurling for a few years so I’d like to be around for that.”
Kenny admitted losing the All-Ireland final replay was a huge disappointment, given Cork had led deep in injury-time in the drawn game, when they won a sideline cut in the Clare half with time almost up.
“When we got that sideline in injury-time my first thought would have been that Stephen [Moylan] should put the ball dead, and he did that.
“I’d have thought we’d be in a position then to deal with the puck-out. Where it probably fell down a bit for us is that Stephen had to chase his man out then for the puck-out, someone else should have picked that run up.
“People mentioned the extra-time but we’ve all played in games or seen games where the team involved gets a last chance. I’ve had it in club matches and Cork matches, they got that chance, they took it and fair play to them.”
Kenny paid tribute to team-mates, club and family for their support.
“Over the years my mother and father and extended family were very good to me always, and my wife, Norleen, has been hugely supportive.
“With Grenagh, over the years they had to wait for games to be played because I was away with Cork, often that stretched late into the year and I’m looking forward to playing with them more now.
“All the lads I played alongside for Cork... It was an honour.”
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