Waterpark Rugby Club have sadly lost their senior status of over 20 years with their demotion to Division One of the Munster Junior League.

This follows a defeat in a play-off against Connacht side, Monivea of East Galway, who came with huge travelling support.

Their New Zealand coach prepared them well, inspecting the pitch, checking grass and wind and getting a battle plan together for his substantially sized pack.

On the day they certainly got the bounce of the ball, as kick-ons went their way with the ball on two occasions jumping into their hands after a break, as Waterpark dilly dallied in possession. Admittedly, Waterpark were missing a few key players through injury.

Some key players did not do the work necessary and were slow on support, especially among the pack after Monivea went ahead. The visitors on the other hand displayed more hunger and followed any loose ball. When their men were making runs, forwards were closely in support.

Ger Divilly managed two tries and was their hero as was Ian Murphy who converted them.

On the other hand, a number of Waterpark players performed poorly, like key man out-half Jones, being caught in possession a number of times. The barracking from some of the home supporters did not help.

The large crowd that turned up were aghast at the result and many had their own theories of why the demotion occurred. The change in coach towards the end of the season was it seems too little too late. Ger Walsh did his best and managed to salvage some good victories but when the team is perched at the bottom a good way adrift, any slip-up is dangerous.

Some members feel the potential of the club is not being realised as the success of the under-age teams, who in the last few years have done so well, is not reflected later. Many move onto college, going to Limerick to the Physical Education Academy there or to UCC and maybe some go to Dublin.

If some of these players could be encouraged to stay on and regenerate the senior team in the years ahead then the future could be bright.

Stronger links with the Waterford Institute of Technology was also suggested, where many good student players could be encouraged to join Waterpark. The Fitzgibbon Cup teams in hurling have had tremendous success.

These suggestions have been raised before and some attempts have been made in the past.

The great successes of the under 14s, 16s and 18s need to be built upon in the future, admittedly some players may leave the sport at that age, but if a good future beckoned in the home club lads could be enticed to return from their studies elsewhere. Inter-county hurlers have similar issues.

The club could conduct a major review of how to enhance the strengths at under age level and translate it in the near future to proper results at senior level.

Bringing in professional players from down under and getting them local jobs is a quick fix, local talent with experienced players alongside them should yield the best results in the long term.

It is a blow to the city of Waterford and the region for senior status to be lost, after many years of struggle to get there.

Many Waterford city supporters came out to see Waterpark perform in this crucial match and must have gone away disillusioned.