Cody's instinctive Cats raise game when required
The more you look back on last Sunday's semi-final, the more you realise that Kilkenny were never going to be beaten.
Even when Waterford cut the deficit to three points after 55 minutes, there was no real sense that they could complete the recovery. And so it proved as they scored only one more point while Kilkenny added four. It was the same in the Leinster final when Galway nudged to within three points of Kilkenny just past the hour mark.
Again, Kilkenny were playing within themselves and, when threatened, their response was to out-score Galway by 0-5 to 0-1 on the home stretch.
It's no coincidence that Kilkenny finished those two games so well. They have been doing that sort of thing for a long time, instinctively raising their game when required.
As for their capacity to punish mistakes, it's unrivalled. TJ Reid again underlined it again when pouncing on an error which offered him the opening for Kilkenny's goal.
Any team with realistic ambitions of beating Kilkenny have to remember one thing - if you don't keep your error count to the very minimum, you have no chance.
As for Waterford, they closed out a really progressive year with a solid shot at Kilkenny, even if they never looked like landing the knock-out punch.
Given where Waterford started from last February, they made a huge advance, even taking the Allianz League title.
Full credit to Derek McGrath and the rest of the camp. Now for the next phase of the project, which will call for the addition of more dynamic attacking dimension.
The return of Pauric Mahony after injury will help towards achieving that particular objective.
And who knows what other talent will emerge from the club championships?