This is a continuation of my look into the 18 season management of Kilkenny by the legend that is Brian Cody.
You can read about his most capped players and his love for substituting the brave corner forwards in Part 1 HERE
The Importance of Michael Fennelly
Next I thought I’d look at what the Americans called the “winningest” players under Cody. Hurlers with the highest Win Rate in the past 18 season (League & Championship).
From this table you can see that the loss of Michael Fennelly to Kilkenny for this years All Ireland Final was substantial. He is the “winningest” player under Cody at an incredible 86% win rate. The only hurler currently active to make the Top 20. Joey Holden at 21st is the next highest ranked active hurler.
Cody’s trusted selectors James McGarry and Derek Lyng both make the list, showing Cody knows his winners well. It is incredible to see that Kavanagh, Shefflin & Brennan had an 80% win rate over 100+ games played.
Winter Plodders vs Summer Hurlers
Much like the horse racing season there is a time for your tough plodding stayers in the mud of winter and there is a time for your thoroughbred stars in the glorious sun of the summer.
Cody’s selection is no different. I took the list of hurlers with more than 30 appearances under Cody and compared how many league games they played compared to their championship appearances.
During Cody’s era he has led Kilkenny into 130 NHL matches and 84 Championship games. The average split of League to Championship is around 60:40.
Just as a quick example the table below shows the average and the two extremes. Willie O Dwyer was a League man for Cody, making 70% of his appearances in the league. On the other hand it is King Henry who was brought out when the sun shone and the big shiny cup was there to be won. Shefflin played 56% of his games in the Championship.
The full list of splits for hurlers with more than 30 appearances is shown below. Eoin Larkin, DJ Carey and Cillian Buckley are the three alongside Shefflin who have appeared in more Championship matches than league matches.
Canice Hickey (Dunnamaggin) and Michael Grace (Rower/Inistioge) both played 12 NHL games without a SHC appearance.
Below is a table of the Number of Appearances made by each club under Cody’s reign.
Unsurprisingly Ballyhale Shamrocks (Shefflin, Reids, Fennellys) and James Stephens (incl. Tyrell & Larkin) have topped the table with the most selections. the list shows how exhaustive a search Cody has made with 30 clubs providing players.
(I have tried to find the right club for each player (searching yearbooks and websites) so if any club feels under-represented please let me know.)
Players Per Club
Below is the table showing how many players from each club were picked by Cody in 18 seasons.
Kilkenny have failed to field a James Stephens hurler on only 6 occasions in 214 of Cody’s matches and on 4 of those occasions, in early 2005, James Stephens were contesting the All Ireland Club Championship! From the period 26 Feb 2006 to 30 March 2014 (99 Games, over 8 years) Kilkenny had a James Stephens man selected in every match.
Ballyhale have had a representative in 194 of the 214 matches.
Only three clubs – James Stephens, Ballyhale Shamrocks & O Loughlin Gaels have had a representative in the Kilkenny colours in all 18 seasons. 2016 was the first season Dunnamaggin had no representative.
Possibly More to Come?
I will aim to delve further into the numbers, if I find any more worthwhile info I may squeeze a third post.