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# Master and Apprentice
'I didn't notice any tension' - Cody and Shefflin play down icy handshake
Henry Shefflin watched his Galway team sneak a dramatic late victory over his native county.

LAST UPDATE | May 2nd 2022, 3:17 PM

WHEN THE FINAL whistle sounded, all eyes descended on Brian Cody and Henry Shefflin on the sideline.  

brian-cody-and-henry-shefflin-shake-hands-after-the-game ©INPHO Kilkenny manager Brian Cody and Galway manager Henry Shefflin shake hands after the game. ©INPHO

There was a great deal of fascination with the much-anticipated moment between the men who won 10 All-Ireland titles together.

Things already looked tense between the pair during the second period when Cody strode in front of Shefflin’s technical area, barking instructions at his players. 

Seconds after Conor Cooney’s match-winning free sailed between the posts, Colm Lyons called a halt to proceedings.

Shefflin, after watching his team sneak a narrow victory at the death, immediately sought out Cody up the sideline from him. 

Cody, however, was more preoccupied with letting Lyons know what he thought of his decision to award a late free against Paddy Deegan for a foul on Tom Monaghan.

Shefflin approached the man who was his hurling mentor for most of his adult life. Cody didn’t open his mouth and stared down his former star player. He held the handshake even as Shefflin went to turn away. 

It was an icy moment that drew comparisons with the infamous Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy handshake of two decades earlier. 

Both men inevitably played down the moment after.

“I have no idea what’s tense about anything to do with anybody else, because whenever we play a match as long as I’m involved with it, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with who’s in charge of any team,” said Cody.

“It’s got everything to do with who is on the pitch. The Kilkenny players were out there representing Kilkenny today, and I’d be very happy with the way they represented Kilkenny.”

Shefflin also danced around the idea that there was any strain in the relationship between the pair. 

“I didn’t notice any tension. I shook hands. For me, I suppose there’s a lot of different emotions. The handshake happened, I didn’t see anything in it.

“After last weekend against Westmeath the attention turned straight away to the Kilkenny game and that’s it. It’s done now. We can sit back and relax tonight and think of Laois then next.

“It was a unique opportunity me coming up here but today was a unique occasion. That’s it, it’s done. I’m glad that really hurling and what went on on the pitch was the best thing about today.”

Shefflin, only the third Kilkenny man to manage against his native county, admitted his late brother Paul and Galway camogie player Kate Moran flashed through his mind as Conor Cooney lined up what turned out to be the match-winning free.

“Very emotional occasion for a lot of different reasons, the way it panned out in the end.

“I suppose the last free there, there are moments to think about people. And I obviously think about my brother. It was nice to get TJ (Brennan) running on as well and obviously it has been a very hard time for TJ and the Moran family as well.”

Brennan was the boyfriend of Moran, who was fatally injured playing in a camogie match last month.

“Look, at the end of the day, it is a big game,” said Shefflin.

“But its sport. That’s all it is. It’s a game or hurling. But we love it. We love it for those moments that you don’t know what is going to happen. That is why we all play from a young age and it is a brilliant game. I am glad just that the occasion today lived up to the billing.”

He was impressed with Eanna Murphy’s quick-thinking for the puck-out to Tom Monaghan that drew the free for Cooney’s winner, and with the free-taker himself for nailing the pressure score.

“To be fair to Eanna, he probably should have stopped it but he got the puckout off fairly quick and there was a breaking ball really because there were two Kilkenny lads there if the ball broke so. But that’s the way it fies, he just got if off fairly quickly.

“It was very difficult and when Colm (Lyons) went back to him I wondered was he going to take the free off him again like two weeks ago. And in general play, Conor probably didn’t have his best day but isn’t it brilliant having that leadership and to be able to stand over that free and strike it over the bar.

“I was delighted for him. He has done it over the years for St Thomas’s and Galway and that is what we are talking about; lads stepping up at the right time. It was a brilliant free. There was an awful lot riding on it.”

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The loss of Reid was a major blow to Kilkenny’s hopes, yet they responded brilliantly without him in the second period, hauling back a six-point deficit. Cody said it was a reoccurrence of an injury that he had been battling for some time.  

“He has played a long time with injury and that, so that’s 35 minutes into him. 

“They were going really well, huge crowd behind them so it was a huge challenge for us in the second half. But I thought we were excellent in the second half.”

Shefflin added, “To be fair Brian brought in the changes and when the lads came on they seemed to make an impact. Straight after half-time it didn’t seem to affect them too much.

“Of course he’s a loss because it’s that experience down the home straight to win a ball and bring someone into play.”

Conor Whelan’s return off the bench for Galway was a major boost and he’ll benefit from the two-week gap to their next game against Dublin.

“I that was a big plus to be fair,” said Shefflin. “Two weeks ago down in Wexford Park we had obviously blown a bit of a lead. We had Conor injured so we were concerned and if you said that day you would get Conor back on the pitch for today he would have done very well and I think it is testimony to him and the effort put in that.

“That was a big plus to be fair. Two weeks ago down in Wexford Park we had obviously blown a bit of a lead.

“We had Conor injured so we were concerned and if you said that day you would get Conor back on the pitch for today he would have done very well and I think it is testimony to him and the effort put in that.

“I would love to say it is this dressing room but it is every dressing room, the players at inter-county now the level of they put in when they get an injury just to get back right.

“And it’s testimony to him that he got himself back right. He would love to play, he wasn’t happy that he wasn’t starting to be honest with you but from a risk-reward perspective the number of minutes he had on the field was going to diminish the risk. It’s brilliant because that will give him confidence that he can go back training this week.”

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