• It would have been a shame had man-of-the-match Lar Corbett been denied the second of his devastating hat-trick of goals on account of that hurley flung at him by John Tennyson (a foul throw that bizarrely merits merely a yellow card – one of eight, four apiece, shown over the
seventy-plus minutes). This column tipped the Thurles Sarsfields ace for Hurler of the Year a while back and the guy rightly described by his manager as “an amazing man” should definitely get it now.
• Brian Cody might have insisted in his typical trifling style that the all-time record wasn’t a factor, that their aim was to win this year’s All-Ireland (as per the mantra of the past four Septembers) but as Liam Sheedy said the five-in-a-row had to have brought a certain pressure to bear. The Cats certainly will wonder about the whole circus that blew up around the ‘Drive for Five’, the 8000-strong turnout for Shefflin’s comeback training session, even the whole ‘K Team’ craic with Mount Misery that went from cult following to mainstream: the hype was all very unKilkenny-like.
• As for Sheedy’s curt interview with the hapless Marty Morrissey, whose brainwave was it to broadcast it over the stadium PA system. No wonder the Tipp boss couldn’t leg it quick enough. It was an intolerable position to have been put in at a time when his emotions were so scrambled. A dumb, Americanised idea that deserved the disdain Sheedy showed it.
• There’s a certain amount of ill-feeling on Noreside that Benny Dunne should have come on and scored in what was clearly a case of Sheedy the redeemer. Dunne received no suspension for his x-rated pull on Tommy Walsh’s head a year earlier, an act of madness that arguably cost Tipp the title, but one admittedly-awful incident in a long career shouldn’t damn a man for eternity. His manager conceded Dunne’s cameo “left a little lump in my throat.” All sentiment side, he’d suffered enough.
• That automatic, human handshake from Shane McGrath and the ovation given to Shefflin by both sets of supporters as he left the field was, like the brilliant Ballyhale man, pure class. It epitomised the sportsmanship that Sheedy has fostered in a team who were accused of showboating when they first re-emerged two years ago. “This team doesn’t do arrogance,” the manager insisted. At least not any more they don’t. Sheedy proved nice guys can win.