The Kilkenny 2011 Championship adventure
Published 29/12/2011 | 05:00
Kilkenny's consistency throughout the championship was quite remarkable.
They scored a total of 29 points against Wexford and Dublin, followed by 2-19 against Waterford and 2-17 against Tipperary.
They conceded 1-15 against both Wexford and Dublin and 1-16 against both Waterford and Tipperary.
Kilkenny 1-26 Wexford 1-15
June 11, Wexford Park
"On this form, neither Dublin nor Galway will be looking forward to a Leinster final showdown with Kilkenny," wrote Cyril Farrell after watching the black-and-amber lay down a very clear marker.
Wexford may not be the force of old, but beating them so comprehensively in Wexford Park left Kilkenny in a very positive frame of mind.
Henry Shefflin scored 0-9 (8 frees) on his return and, equally significantly, showed no ill-effects from a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.
Brian Cody: "The league final (defeat by Dublin) happened and an awful lot has been written about it.
"Obviously, we'd be foolish to close our eyes to it, but you assess it and carry on.
"From a confidence point of view, it had no impact whatsoever."
Kilkenny 4-17 Dublin 1-15
July 3, Croke Park
Kilkenny's response to the big defeat by Dublin in the Allianz League final could not have been more emphatic.
Henry Shefflin (1-9), Michael Rice and Eoin Larkin (1-2 each) led the charge as Kilkenny blitzed Dublin from the start.
They led by 1-3 to 0-1 after 11 minutes, by 2-5 to 0-3 after 20 minutes and by 2-10 to 0-7 at the break. There was no way back for Dublin, who improved in the second half, albeit from a long way back.
Brian Cody: "You can't get revenge for a league final, but what it did was get into players' heads the quality of the opposition and the enormity of the challenges that are out there."
Kilkenny 2-19 Waterford 1-16
August 7, Croke Park
A series of Kilkenny spurts, followed by Waterford revivals, kept things interesting all the way, but it never looked as if there would be an upset.
Kilkenny scored 1-3 in the opening 10 minutes, added 0-5 in another seven-minute burst later on and closed out the half with 1-1 in the last few minutes to lead by 2-10 to 1-7.
They led by 2-15 to 1-8 after 51 minutes and while Waterford cut the deficit back to five points after 63 minutes, they were unable to complete the recovery.
Brian Cody: "An All-Ireland semi-final has one prize and one prize only. It's all about winning in a semi-final -- the margin is not important.
"We're very happy that's achieved because the alternative is serious disappointment."
Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 1-16
September 4, Croke Park
Redemption day. One of Kilkenny's sweetest ever victories was based on a dynamic start which set the agenda for the day.
A cleverly-constructed goal, scored by Michael Fennelly in the 25th minute, set Kilkenny on their way to an interval lead of 1-8 to 0-6.
Richie Hogan scored a second goal in the 48th minute to extend the gap to eight points and while Tipperary pared it back to three points after 64 minutes, Kilkenny closed out the deal on the home stretch.
Brian Cody: "I was absolutely certain we were going to perform. You can see it. You can smell it almost.
"You know when the resolve and the attitude and the determination are right. We used our heads today. We threw the ball around and we hurled for each other."