‘If you don’t have intensity you’re going to be blown away’
BRIAN CODY has no new answers on a day like this. When excellence becomes so routine, there’s little enough point in trying to find a deeper meaning in it all.
We push Cody to explain where the hunger and intensity comes from, how men so medalled can be made hook and block like kids trying to impress a new boss. He waves it all away.
“That’s the game of hurling really,” he says. “That’s how hurling is supposed to be played. There’s nothing magical about it.
“You mention hooking and blocking – those are two of the best skills in the game.
“Intensity? I mean, this is the top level of our sport – if you don’t have intensity you’re going to be blown away. There’s nothing mysterious about it.
“We played very well, there’s no doubt about that. We were against a very strong wind in the first half and we were hoping to stay with them as well as we could. But we settled very well and the first goal is always important.
“We got two very good goals in the first half and that gave us a bit of a cushion which was huge for us. The attitude of the boys right throughout the field was very good.”
For Anthony Daly, a day like this is a swatch ripped from the soul. Losing is one thing, going missing is another altogether.
He falls over himself to tip the hat at Cody’s side but looks on bewildered all the same at the non-performance of some of his own players.
“I wouldn’t take it off Kilkenny,” he says. “I honestly wouldn’t take it off them. I admire their players.
“But I don’t see why you wouldn’t have a real cut off those guys. They’re the guys who are being held up as the best players who ever played. Wouldn’t you love to be going out against them, testing yourself against them with nothing to lose? But we seemed to show them too much respect.
“We didn’t seem to have a go at all. That’s the most disappointing thing.
“Being beaten by Kilkenny isn’t a shock to my system or anyone else’s but it’s a shock how poor we were on the day. That’s the only thing I’d be shocked about.
“There was no indication that our hurling would be that poor in training.”
– MALACHY CLERKIN