Fighting words that turned the tide of battle

A Jackie Tyrrell half-time speech has been heralded as the catalyst behind Kilkenny’s All-Ireland winning second half.

Brian Cody’s side outscored Galway by seven points in the second half although it would have been 10 but for a consolation Joe Canning goal in injury-time.

Colin Fennelly and Cody paid tribute to the motivating words uttered by Tyrrell during the break.

Fennelly revealed the James Stephens man, only back in the panel after an ankle operation, had rallied the troops after an indifferent first half for the Cats.

“Jackie Tyrrell at half-time, the speech he made was absolutely amazing.

“He has one, two years left maybe but speeches like that and young lads hearing that coming on, it’s amazing.

The speech at half-time was absolutely unbelievable,” he told RTÉ.

“He spoke to us all. He spoke for about a minute or two and every word he said, he had the hair standing on the back of my neck. It was unbelievable what he said.

“We have our time to ourselves and we have a quick chat with ourselves. He spoke, Richie Power spoke and Michael Fennelly spoke. They’re probably the three senior lads on the team and they all spoke very well.

“Whatever they said to us went through and we went out and did the business in the second half.”

Cody said: “Ah well, several players did but certainly Jackie drove forward the thing before the game and at half-time.

“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.

“But he was magnificent in every way. He was so close to making it back. Just another week and he would have been able to make it I’d say but, look it, Jackie’s as delighted as everybody else.”

Meanwhile, several compliments were paid on social media to yesterday’s All-Ireland minor final referee Paud O’Dwyer who officiated after his mother passed away on Saturday.

The Carlow official was complimented for taking charge of the match after difficult personal circumstances.

Black armbands were worn by match officials in honour of O’Dwyer’s mother.

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