Brian Cody was his usual self at the full-time whistle in Thurles yesterday.
Happy enough. Not losing the run of himself. He stood in the tunnel in Semple Stadium, acknowledging friend and foe as they passed, fielding questions with ease.
His side had two goals in the first 10 minutes of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A final against Cork but it wasn’t part of a master plan.
“No, you couldn’t legislate for getting goals at any stage of the game but we got them,” said Cody.
“We try to do the right things and the application of the players is very good. They created chances and it worked out for us.”
What didn’t work out was the injury situation. Michael Fennelly and JJ Delaney were added to the list including Richie Power, Henry Shefflin and Michael Rice.
“We don’t know yet [about Michael Fennelly], he went over on his ankle. How bad it is I don’t know — to go off straight away without trying it suggests it’s not too good, but hopefully it won’t be too serious.
“JJ had a dead leg at half-time that swelled up badly and he wasn’t able to continue.”
That didn’t take away from their focus.
“There’s no final whistle at half-time. You have to keep going, and it’s an easy thing to do, and if you do then a team like Cork will punish you for it. It was important to keep our focus and to keep strong and to keep going.”
There was much comment about Kilkenny’s physical conditioning yesterday and Cody was happy to share the credit.
“It’s good, that’s due to Michael Dempsey, but we don’t do anything exceptional. We’re not into ferocious hard training or anything, contrary to what people may believe, the lads apply themselves very well to the job in hand, but the physical conditioning is good for all counties. We’d be very happy with our situation, certainly.”
Is it frustrating to wait for the championship now?
“There’s no point in being frustrated,” said Cody. “The situation is as it is. The lads will go back to their clubs for a couple of weeks, which is very important too, and we’ll go on with the year and take on the challenges there.
“If we were weak [today] in any position we’d have been punished, and we were decent throughout the field.”
Decent? An understatement, surely?
“No, it was a good performance. I’m not trying to underplay it or overplay it, we went out and had a huge challenge. Cork were fancied by many people, understandably so, and the last day they were better than us.”
Would he have been happier with a tighter contest, though?
“I’m very happy with the way the game went, to be honest with you.”
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