Saturday 7 December 2019

Appreciating the genius in Kilkenny's Power surge

Kilkenny's Richie Power set the All-Ireland final alight with his skill, poise and intelligence. Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
Kilkenny's Richie Power set the All-Ireland final alight with his skill, poise and intelligence. Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

Diarmuid Lyng

Was it the greatest final of them all? Is it the greatest sport of them all? Definitively unanswerable, as well as irrelevant.

What does matter is that the canvas is provided for guys immersed in their craft to paint their masterpiece.

Richie Power's second goal stands out a mile. The inner workings of the brain explode in to life.

The ball is coming in arrow-like at about eight feet. James Barry is on Richie's heels, both straight-lining it away from goal. Barry knows that Richie must make his play. Get possession and turn left or right. He's subconsciously tracking the slightest shift of weight.

Richie knows this too. Countless hours. So with the deftest touches he angles the hurl so that his first touch moves the ball right but towards goal, while Barry is still waiting for his play.

Richie knew what he was doing milliseconds before Barry. When he turns without the ball, Barry is trailing.

Presence. Poise. Intelligence. Skill. Genius.

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