SP1PicEVERYONE is paying attention
now. Waterford, the National Hurling
League champions, are now just 70
minutes away from a 10th Munster
title after Sunday’s 3-19 to 1-21 win
over Cork at Semple Stadium.
And with an All-Ireland quarterfinal
berth already secured, Derek
McGrath’s men have both maintained
their incredible winning streak while
moving firmly into McCarthy Cup
As players happily posed for photos
on the Thurles sod, a clearly satisfied
Deise boss admitted his team
had something of a “wobble” in the
opening 25 minutes, in what ultimately
transpired to be Cork’s purple
“I think it came from high pressure
from Cork early on they pushed up
on us and we weren’t able to get our
game going,” he said.
“We just weren’t able to get our
game going. I think we were
overstructured for the first time this year.
I think we were over emotive as well.
“We watched a video with message
for Pauric Mahony on the bus on the
way in and we were drained; I think
just with the emotion of it, from
players to management – we were
drained. Some of our speedier payers,
our guys who would be known for
their fitness, they just looked a bit
leggy early on.
“The emotional knock on of the
video had an effect. But it up opened
up from there and I thought we were
a bit unlucky not to have another goal
before half time.”
As McGrath conceded, Waterford
capitalised on Cork’s failure to
grab a goal while they enjoyed early
“I think the biggest lead they got
was 0-6 to 0-2. If it went to 1-6 to
0-2 or 2-6 to 0-2 it might have been
Waterford advance
to Munster Final as
Rebels are put to
sword once more
DERMOT KEYES REPORTS different. You’d be inclined to lose
your shape if that happens and not
stick to the plan. But they never
stretched the lead and our goal against
the grain settled us a bit.”
Instrumental to Waterford’s victory
was the consistently menacing contribution
of Maurice Shanahan, who
ended the afternoon with 1-9 in the
ledger and a man of the match award
in the gear bag.
“He did well, hit the frees well,”
said Derek McGrath. “We knew
there’d be a lot of over-scrutiny with
the free. But he stepped up and took
them well and it just goes to show a
year is a long time in sport.”
It certainly is. Twelve months ago,
Waterford had lost their replay to Cork
by 14 points. Now, twice in the space
of five weeks, the Deise have seen off
their honours-laden neighbours by 10
and four points respectively.
“It’s very hard to put you finger on
it,” said the De La Salle men when
pressed for an explanation on Waterford’s
incredible form. “
We’re just trying to improve. I
know it sounds monotonous to keep
saying it but that’s where we are. I’m
just proud of the lads to be able to
revisit what happened five weeks ago
and push on again. That’s tough.”
As for talk of Liam MacCarthy?
“I know Davy [Fitzgerald] did it two
years ago but it’s hard to get that
This young panel has found its
edge superbly since the turn of the
year – whether they’re on the brink of
something special remains to be seen.
But what a joy it’s been to see this
group develop. And they’re now just
one win away from a second trophy
in 2015. What about that?