Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cody keeps 'King Henry' focus on future

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

HENRY Shefflin may have supplanted Eddie Keher at the top of the all-time championship scoreboard, but past achievements don't count when you're part of a Kilkenny team with eyes only for the great prize that is a fifth consecutive All-Ireland title.

Asked for his assessment of King Henry's ascent to the scoring throne, Brian Cody made it clear that the future was all that mattered.

"To be honest, I'm more concerned about what he's going to do for the rest of this year," said Cody.

He need have no worries. Shefflin remains a star act in a team that returned an awesome return while misfiring on a number of fronts. Cody put the wastefulness down to the long break without a game since the end of the National League and also insisted that the winning margin (4-19 to 0-12) wasn't a true reflection of the difference between the teams.

"We got an early goal and Richie Power's goal was the clincher but Dublin had opportunities too. There's no doubt we'll need a huge improvement for the Leinster final," he said.

Cody bases everything on team spirit and endeavour, areas where Kilkenny certainly scored yesterday as they overpowered a Dublin team that had run them to six points in last year's Leinster final.

Anthony Daly was visibly shell-shocked by the scale of the defeat, admitting that it was agonising watching the final 15 minutes as Kilkenny dominated at will all over the pitch.

"It's very hard to be positive after this but what do we do? We have three weeks to a qualifier and we have to get ready. We'll get them back on Tuesday night and keep going," he said.

Dublin will play either Clare or Limerick in the qualifiers, which will certainly be a step down in class on what they encountered yesterday.

"We're not as bad as things looked today. We're not 19 points off the top level, but sometimes when it goes away from you near the end you get seriously punished," said Daly. "Kilkenny will always keep driving on and adding as many scores as they can."

Irish Independent

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