THE main man was missing but it was business as usual for Kilkenny in front of a packed house at Nowlan Park as they captured the National Hurling League title with a superb, three-point victory over Tipperary.
In front of a crowd of 21,447, the Cats certainly enjoyed the comforts of their home pitch as they burst out of the traps with an early goal from Michael Fennelly, something that will have pleased manager Brian Cody as he watched on television from the comfort of his home.
Mr Cody was again an absentee as he recovers from heart surgery but will no doubt have enjoyed the match as his star-studded team picked up another trophy.
After the 2-17 to 0-20 victory, selector Michael Dempsey revealed Mr Cody had slipped into Nowlan Park on Saturday to see the county's minors lose to Wexford. "He was able to come in yesterday at his ease and hopefully he'll be back shortly," added Mr Dempsey who, along with Martin Fogarty, has been taking charge of the team in Mr Cody's absence.
"It's lucky we won today or I'd say he would have been back quicker than even we'd want," joked Mr Dempsey.
NATIONAL League final special: Sports Supplement