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Brian Cody sounds the rallying call after Kilkenny’s All-Ireland defeat

Cody insisted every Kilkenny person should be very proud of the way the team performed

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody walks down the tunnel after his side's defeat to Limerick in the All-Ireland SHC final. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Sean McGoldrickSunday World

For Kilkenny it was a case of have might have been as Brian Cody acknowledged in his past match press conference.

Yet he insisted every Kilkenny person should be very proud of the way the team performed despite a defeat against Limerick in the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park

“It was close for sure at the end,” he said.

“We were playing the All-Ireland champions, according to most people's predictions we weren't at the level we needed to be to even have a chance in an All-Ireland final. But I think our players just deserve fantastic admiration for the way they fought it out.

“The early goal obviously gave them a huge boost and great confidence. It give them that cushion nearly the whole way right up to half-time. They got some great scores.

“At half-time we were four points down which is not a big lead obviously in hurling. The second half we fought it out.

“We were unfortunate we didn't get to where we wanted to get to, but obviously we congratulate Limerick as All Ireland champions, as three-in-a row champions which is a huge achievement for them.

The veteran boss who has now lost his last All-Ireland final said that Martin Keoghan’s 47th minute goal which narrowed the gap to a single point as a huge score, but he never presumed that it would prove the launching pad for his team to go on to win.

“You never presume anything because of the quality of the opposition is so good and so strong. Physically they are a powerful team too and the goal was terrific for us. It was a question of just keeping going and going.

“The lads did that and were obviously able to keep in touch with points. Limerick kept themselves ahead on the scoreboard even though we did draw level. It was just a great battle.

“We are hugely disappointed, all of the players are, but I just have huge pride in the way they performed,” said Cody.

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