All for one and one for all still the key ingredient for Brian Cody

Michael Donoghue admits introduction of Hogan swung game in champion’s favour

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 
If it didn’t look particularly different from previous encounters with Galway, that’s probably because this latest Leinster final success was simply based on the same plan, simply executed. Limit the damage when you’re on the back foot and maximise it when you’re on the front.

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody summarises the match in stark terms as a tale of two halves.

“We were happy with the second half but in fairness there were times when we didn’t play particularly well in the first half but we created two very good goal chances and if both of those or one of those had gone in it could have put a completely different complexion on the scoreboard at half-time. Goals lift a team as well and they kind of dominated after that.

“They went five points up at one stage and we chipped away and were three down at half-time.

Hang in there

“We were stronger in the second half. You hang in there when you’re under pressure and try and take advantage when things are going well for you.”

When it gets down to individual cases, Cody is as usually reluctant to allow any incipient cult of personality to develop around former hurler of the year Richie Hogan, who returned from a lengthy injury to come on after half-time and score five points from play.

Second Captains

“Richie has been out injured for a long, long time but has been able to maintain his fitness, which is good. He’s very, very sharp and that.

“Obviously with a hand injury he hasn’t done any contact for a long time but he’s back doing drills and he’s a very, very skilful player.

“It’s not a question of any individual. It’s a question of the players, right throughout the field and a panel working well. It was a good win at the end of the day.”

His Galway counterpart Micheál Donoghue pondered the match’s mood swing but couldn’t find any clues in what had happened at the interval.

“The mood at half-time was good. When you’re three points up, you’re just looking for more of the same and to push on.

“There were still aspects of the game we knew we could improve on but we knew the first few minutes would be crucial because Kilkenny are renowned for coming out. The introduction of Richie Hogan was massive and sometimes you have to put your hand up.”

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