Jackie Tyrrell: Kilkenny need to accept the short ball is just as important as the long ball

Dearth of underage talent and failure to find ‘wow’ players has hurt progression levels

Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody tackled by Seán O’Donoghue and Mark Coleman of Cork during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody tackled by Seán O’Donoghue and Mark Coleman of Cork during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

As I looked out from the RTÉ gantry in Croke Park on Sunday, I was far from alone in being able to see the Kilkenny ship sinking under water. It was clear to everyone that a new hole was being pierced in the hull every time a Cork player rifled the ball over the bar from 60 yards. Jack O’Connor, Shane Kingston, Séamus Harnedy – one after another after another. “Rebels! Rebels! Rebels!” came the cry from the crowd.

I knew Kilkenny were done and that is a very hard place to be. I felt for the lads down on the pitch. Some of them were out on their feet. Lots of them had abandoned their normal positions on the ship and just gone for it. Pádraig Walsh had left his spot at the heart of the defence where had orchestrated everything so well for most of the day and thrown himself into all-out attack. It was a desperate bid to save a game that was essentially gone.

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