Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody hailed the performance of Henry Shefflin after the 33-year-old produced another superlative performance in their All-Ireland quarter-final win over Limerick.
The Cats were well beaten by Galway in the Leinster final, and they looked vulnerable early on at Semple Stadium as Limerick showed tremendous intensity.
But two-first half goals from Shefflin saw Kilkenny lead at the break, and his team-mates weighed in after the interval as they eased to a 4-16 to 1-16 victory.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman finished the game with a personal tally 0f 2-06.
“I think, in fairness, Henry did a huge amount of scoring for us in the first half, obviously, and it’s just again testament to the man he is,” Cody said.
“There were a couple of very strong performances from players who have been doing it all their lives, but I’d say an awful lot of other fellas picked it up in the second half,” he added.
While it was far from a stellar performance from Cody’s charges, it was a case of job done as far as the manager was concerned.
“Very happy to have won the game, obviously,” Cody said. “It was a real competitive game in the first half. We certainly were struggling a bit at times, and we were lucky to be a point up at half time.
“We certainly picked it up in the second half. We got some good scores, a couple of goals were very, very important for us. And, obviously, beforehand we realised the prize was to get to the All-Ireland semi-final, and we achieved that so we’re very happy about it.”
When asked about the prospect of a last fourl encounter with Tipperary on 19 August, Cody was his usual coy self.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s Tipperary we meet now in the semi-final, and obviously it’s a game everybody will look forward to,” the wily Cats boss said.