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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 9 May 2021

Henry's perfect 10 is mind-boggling, admits Brian Cody

The talismanic Cat has ‘gone through the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ according to his boss.

BRIAN CODY ISN’T a man for hyperbole, that’s for sure.

After the drawn All-Ireland final he famously stated that he had ‘no real strong phenomenal feelings’ about what most accepted was an epic contest.

So when he described Henry Shefflin’s 10th All-Ireland medal success as ‘mind boggling’, you could tell he was deeply impressed.

In fact, the game’s most decorated manager who now has 10 All-Ireland wins in charge of the Cats himself reckoned it was frankly wrong to be discussing his own achievement over Shefflin’s.

“Henry’s achievement is the one to talk about,” said Cody. “The manager is still as young as ever! The player himself gets older and it’s a different thing. He’s challenged in every single possible way not so much in a psychological way but in a physical way because he has gone through the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, obviously, with injury and to be here still at this level and to be challenging for his place, absolutely challenging, and then to have deserved to achieve his 10th All-Ireland on the field of play, that’s just mind boggling stuff.

“I thought for a while it might never be done again but there’s a few lads coming behind him, they’re creeping up as well. It’s just a magnificent time for Henry and those other players.”

Victory wasn’t always set in stone though, far from it. At half-time, Tipperary led 1-7 to 0-8 and the feeling was that if they could get their marquee attackers firing, they may capture only a second championship win over Kilkenny since 1991.

But five Kilkenny points in a row after the restart put the Cats into pole position and they led from then until full-time.

Asked what he said at half-time, Cody shrugged. “Well, they demand more from each other and that’s the kind of players they are. And the level was stepped up straight away but the same happened the last day, they came out after half-time and straight away stepped things up and they did it again today. It was a superb performance, I thought, super.

“It was just a whole team thing, a panel thing. It was all over the field. The defending, the attacking, the work rate of the midfielders was unbelievable I thought. It was just a superb team panel effort. The players who came in, Henry obviously being one of them, you just have to have that quality coming in too.”

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Paul Keane

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