Heartiest congratulations to Waterford’s hurlers on beating Tipperary in yet another thriller and reaching the All-Ireland after a gap of 45 years.

Kilkenny, the aristocrats of the game, await them of course, as they usually do when the Deise reach the final – apart from ’63, they also clashed in the All-Irelands of ’57 and ’59, with the title coming south of the Suir only on the latter occasion, following a replay.

All the excitement of those years – and the gifted players who provided it – will be recalled in the build-up to Croke Park on September 7. If the great stadium could hold 120,000 it would be packed on the day, so the quest for tickets is going to be frantic.

It is bound to be a wonderful occasion, with Waterford so hungry for the title and Kilkenny, a great team by any standards, seeking three-in-a-row. All seems set for a classic. In our excitement we mustn’t forget our other good neighbours, the Munster champions in blue and gold who lost out last Sunday but who are a talented young side who have made significant progress and will undoubtedly be back for further days in the sun..