Kilkenny manager Brian CodyGoogle Images

Kilkenny Manager Brian Cody was overcome with the victory over Tipperary in the All-Ireland hurling final but refused to discuss the controversial penalty award that changed the game.

He stated that four in a row was an extraordinary achievement for his team. "It's kind of an outrageous thing to do, definitely. It's mad really. It's crazy that those players have done that in this day and age and it's a tribute to the people they are as much as the skill they have."

In that time Kilkenny has played eighteen games and lost none – an incredible record, like winning four major golf championships in a row. “To win one All-Ireland is great, terrific. So many counties would give anything to win one All-Ireland final – we would and did. To go on and repeat it was a massive achievement. The third one in a row was magical," admitted Cody.

"What shone through very clearly for me today was the way we finished. We finished strongly and athletically and fitness wise."

In four years they were the only major power in championship hurling to avoid this black and amber juggernaut. Yesterday they threw themselves in front of it and will live to tell the tale.

"An All-Ireland final is an All-Ireland final. It is a pleasure to win it no matter who you are playing. But there is a massive traditional rivalry between Kilkenny and Tipperary. I grew up watching Tipperary beat Kilkenny a lot. We beat them once in 1967.

"Our history isn't good compared to Tipperary's history. They are a massively proud hurling county. We haven't had an opportunity to meet them very often or play them in a final.

"Obviously this has been a good decade for us. But it's a tribute to Tipperary that we are delighted to have beaten them today, that's the standing Tipperary have in hurling and in Kilkenny people's eyes and minds."

For Cody, the most debate about the key penalty was not about whether it should be given but how cool Henry Shefflin was when he took it. "Diarmuid Kirwan certainly gave a penalty. If you start wondering about all the frees in the course of the game, you will have a fairly busier time.

“Did you think it was a penalty yourself, Marty?" he retorted.

When the RTE interviewer Marty Morrisey pressed him on it Cody seemed annoyed: "Marty, please give me a break, will you. The referee, we're supposed to say nothing about the referees.

"I make a habit of saying nothing about referees. Diarmuid Kirwan I am certain in my head went out to do the best he possibly could.

"You seem to have a problem with him, you tell me.”

"But it was and would be a point of debate," Morrisey responded.

"This discussion with me is turning in to a debate about a referee. It started off about four-in-a-row; now you want to talk about a referee. It sounds a bit silly."

Later Cody also argued that the sending off of Benny Dunne had little impact either. "A red card doesn't have a huge influence very often. You saw in Cork-Tyrone; the match went ahead as if it (Alan O'Connor's red card) never happened. We've seen many other examples of that.

"The thing about the penalty was Henry Shefflin. It was about character and nerve and skill. It was a savage penalty. The ball just burst the net.”

Meanwhile Kilkenny goalkeeper P.J. Ryan, man of the match, reflected on an extraordinary day, especially his great save from an Eoin Kelly shot.

"Things happen fast in a game and you need a bit of luck really,” Ryan said. “For the second one, Eoin Kelly slipped. If his feet hadn't gone under him like that, he might have busted the net out of it. Thankfully, we had that bit of luck today."

Kilkenny goalkeepers are used to not being tested too much in recent years. Yesterday was different."I suppose it's as busy as I have been playing for Kilkenny, but the last time we played Tipp I let in four goals and the time before that I let in five goals, so today was a big improvement."