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Henry Shefflin's 10 best moments for club and county

In no particular order, we look back on ten of the best from ‘The King’ for Kilkenny and Ballyhale

Henry Sheffin toured Croke Park with the Olympic torch in 2012
Henry Sheffin toured Croke Park with the Olympic torch in 2012
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Henry Shefflin’s retirement brings the curtain down on a glittering intercounty career with Kilkenny. He’ll continue to hurl with his beloved Ballyhale Shamrocks and there could be more glory to come with the All-Ireland club specialists.

But for now, here are King Henry’s 10 best moments to date for club and county:

1. 2009 All-Ireland final

With the destination of the Liam MacCarthy Cup very much in the balance, Shefflin was presented with the chance to get the Cats back on track against 14-man Tipperary. In a situation like this, is there anybody you would trust more than Shefflin to oblige? And he did, finding the net with a 63rd minute penalty to hand Kilkenny the lead at a critical stage.

Source: tommyn147/YouTube

2. 2012 All-Ireland final

Shefflin’s performance in the second half of the drawn 2012 All-Ireland final was simply imperious. With Kilkenny desperately devoid of leadership, Shefflin almost single-handedly kept them in contention and ensured that the Noresiders secured a replay, which they won. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that Shefflin was going right to the bitter end of the Leinster final of that summer too, when Galway whipped Kilkenny.

Henry Shefflin tackled by Iarla Tannian and Kevin Hynes Henry Shefflin kept Kilkenny in contention during the drawn 2012 All-Ireland final Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

3. 2010 All-Ireland final

Would Kilkenny have won the five-in-a-row in 2010 if Shefflin was fully fit? It’s a question we’ll never know the answer to but they wouldnt’ have been too far off. The fact that he even lined out at all was a remarkable feat in itself. Shefflin tore the cruciate ligament in his left knee against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final but after undergoing intensive treatment with Ger Hartmann, he was deemed fit enough to line out.

Shefflin’s day ended after just 12 minutes, however, and as he limped off he was afforded a standing ovation by fans of both Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Henry Shefflin pulls up with a knee injury in the first half Henry Shefflin's knee gives way during the 2010 All-Ireland final Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

4. 2015 All-Ireland club hurling semi-final

Brothers TJ and Eoin Reid may have scored the goals but Shefflin pulled the strings as Ballyhale comfortably disposed of Gort in last month’s All-Ireland club hurling semi-final. Shefflin scored five points from play and delivered a performance that left Ballyhale’s joint-manager Colm Bonnar drooling. Bonnar’s insisted after the game that Shefflin could continue playing for Kilkenny at the highest level – if he so wished.

Henry Shefflin Rolling back the years with a virtuoso display for Ballyhale against Gort last month

5. 2000 All-Ireland final

Shefflin collected the first of his ten All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 2000. Having suffered defeats to Offaly in 1998 and Cork a year later, a third successive final defeat was an unconscionable prospect for Kilkenny fans. They need not have worried as Shefflin collected 1-3 against Offaly as the goal-hungry Cats ran riot. Shefflin was one-third of a lethal inside line that also contained DJ Carey and Charlie Carter. The trio bagged 4-10 between them on the day.

Source: Bryansford Gael/YouTube

6. 2002 All-Ireland hurling final

Shefflin was now emerging as THE key man in the Kilkenny attack, even with Carey still in the frame. In the 2002 decider, the pair hit 2-13 of Kilkenny’s 2-20 total against Clare at Croke Park. Shefflin notched 1-7, with Carey adding 1-6. Shefflin created the game’s opening goal for Carey before being denied by Davy Fitzgerald’s brilliant first half save. But Shefflin would not be denied as he dived full-length to touch home Martin Comerford’s delivery from the left touchline approaching the finish.

Source: Bryansford Gael/YouTube

7. 2007 All-Ireland hurling final

In a fixture charged with emotion following the death of Vanessa McGarry, wife of Kilkenny goalkeeper James, Shefflin called the tune in the first half before going off with cruciate knee ligament damage. Shefflin and Eddie Brennan scored early goals as Kilkenny torched inexperienced Limerick with a quick start. As team captain, Shefflin lifted the cup with Darragh McGarry, son of James and Vanessa (RIP).

Henry Shefflin celebrates with James McGarry's son Darragh and the cup Henry Shefflin and Darragh McGarry lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2007 Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

8. 2008 All-Ireland hurling final

The knee injury sustained by Shefflin in the 2007 All-Ireland final ruled him out of the League campaign of 2008. But Shefflin was back to his brilliant best in the championship, collecting a ninth provincial medal before Kilkenny obliterated Waterford in the All-Ireland final. Shefflin scored eight points, including six from placed balls, as the Cats won by 23 points.

Henry Shefflin with Eoin Kelly and Stephen Molumphy Henry Shefflin powers past Waterford opponents Eoin Kelly (left) and Stephen Molumphy in the 2008 All-Ireland final Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

9. 2013 All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier

Those who were present will never forget the crackle in the air at Nowlan Park when Kilkenny hosted Tipperary in the 2013 All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier. The PA announcer whipped the home crowd into a frenzy with his confirmation that Shefflin was on the bench after recovering from injury and the roar that greeted his introduction in the second half was ear-splitting. Despite only coming on for the last six minutes, Shefflin still managed to supply a crucial late score for Richie Power.

Henry Shefflin during the warm up Henry Shefflin's introduction against Tipperary in 2013 raised the roof at Nowlan Park Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

10. 2014 All-Ireland senior hurling final

Brought on for the final 12 minutes of the 2014 All-Ireland final replay, Shefflin finished the day with a tenth All-Ireland senior hurling medal. Not content with that, Shefflin went on to play a pivotal role for Ballyhale Shamrocks en route to club glory on St Patrick’s Day. All-Ireland medals with county and club within the space of six months is pretty good going, we’re sure you’ll agree.

KilkennyÕs Henry Shefflin places a hat on his sons Henry's head after the game A tender moment between Henry senior and Henry junior as the dust settles on last year's All-Ireland final replay Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Perfect 10 – The story of Henry Shefflin’s All-Ireland hurling glories

10 reasons we will miss Henry Shefflin when he’s gone

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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