By Rory Houston - @RTESundayGame
Brian Cody has described regaining the All-Ireland Hurling title as “massively sweet” after Kilkenny saw off Tipperary 2-17 to 1-16 in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Cats upset the 2010 winners by grinding out a four-point win thanks to goals from Michael Fennelly and Richie Hogan.
Cody told RTÉ: “It’s massively sweet. For the last few years we have been coming in as champions and favourites to win the match. This year was very different. We were beaten by Tipperary last year.
“Tipperary were great champions, they set very high standards and they were hot favourites to win today. In those situations it becomes sweet to win because we had to play at a serious level to win it from minute one.”
Kilkenny made a very bright start to the game and kept Tipp scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the opening period. Cody admitted it was a game plan that worked brilliantly for his players.
“We got into the game very quickly. There was a massive resolve within the panel to stamp a bit of authority on the game. We didn’t do that last year. We were playing catch-up the whole time and that is not a good recipe for success.
“We planned well for it and there was huge hunger and determination. It was very, very evident in the way played all over the field. We tackled very well, we chased, we harried and played intelligent hurling. When we had the ball we used it very well and created a huge amount of scoring chances.
“We had a plan for it. If we had said before the game that we’ll just go and do the best we wouldn’t be standing here with the McCarthy Cup, that is for certain.
“We had to look at the whole thing, look at Tipperary and make a plan to beat them. They had earned that kind of respect; we gave them that respect and we planned accordingly. It worked out very well.”
The 57-year-old has now won eight All-Ireland titlez as manager of Kilkenny and is looking forward to savouring this win rather than making plans for the future.
He said: “I will certainly enjoy this one and take it from there. I have no idea what I’m going to do as I always say but I will enjoy this.”