In waiting: in the three games Kilkenny have needed to make it to the final, Cody has used just eight substitutes. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

As the drip-drip news of Kilkenny retirements came over the winter, the caveat went that only JJ Delaney would be departing the scene as a starter.(...)

TJ Reid scores his side’s goal despite the presence of a thrown hurley at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

I was surprised by people’s reaction coming out of Croke Park. I thought Kilkenny were really good. Others didn’t seem so convinced but in the second (...)

TJ Reid scores Kilkenny’s goal despite the attention of Waterford’s  Barry Coughlan during the  All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Kilkenny 1-21 Waterford 0-18 That sense of the predictable that Kilkenny have brought to so many big matches over the past 17 seasons was again in evi(...)

Kilkenny’s Ger Aylward scores his side’s fourth goal against Wexford despite the efforts of  Liam Ryan. The Kilkenny sharpshooter contributed 3-5 form play that day. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

If almost everything about Kilkenny’s march to another All-Ireland hurling semi-final has felt tiresomely familiar then at least Ger Aylward is provin(...)

Cillian Buckley: “It’s turning into a fierce game of athleticism and fitness. It’s probably suiting me, and it is a place I enjoy playing.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

It’s now 31 days and so many hours since Kilkenny collected their 70th Leinster hurling title without much fuss, and it would appear that several posi(...)

Davy Fitzgerald: “Between this summer and the next two or three summers we will be working very hard to get a fifth All-Ireland back to Clare in 130 years.”  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

The hurling life of Davy Fitzgerald has been accompanied by the singularly fatalistic perspective from which he views the best and worst of days. Nobo(...)

Recently retired Tipp hero Eoin Kelly: was disappointed that Galway  fell into Kilkenny’s trap

Over to you, Tipperary. Recently retired Premier hero Eoin Kelly was in Croke Park this week with sponsor Etihad to promote a championship that reall(...)

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid scores a goal in the Leinster  Hurling Senior Championship final against Galway at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

It was a disappointing Leinster final for anyone who thought Galway were really going to put it up to Kilkenny and test them to the point where they m(...)

Galway manager Anthony Cunningham: “We’d be pushing hard for the Galway supporters to come out and drive this team on, as there is something to build on.” Dan Sheridan/Inpho

For all the clamour that follows Joe Canning’s marvellous goal, a Galway defeat followed because of superior performances by many more Kilkenny than G(...)

Ger Aylward scores a goal against Wexford. “Never any doubt in my mind that he would play at some stage,” says Richie Hogan. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It wasn’t those ageing doyens that kept Ger Aylward at bay. Nor was he the best kept secret of Kilkenny people. Just held up by circumstances beyond h(...)