SP23S3Pic“It matters not a whit if Waterford don’t
win another match between now and next
February. Their year has already been an
outstanding triumph.”
I’m rarely in disagreement with the
estimable Enda McEvoy, who made this
declaration in the superb Irish Examiner
Championship preview on May 22nd. But
on this occasion, I have to politely take issue
with my friend and colleague.
Firstly, the League title was a magnificent
outcome, something even the most wide-eyed
Deise fan could have foreseen back in the
depths of winter, when Derek McGrath made
several ballsy calls in finalising his 2015
Secondly, the work rate of every player who
took to the paddock this Spring in Division 1B
has been the most noteworthy feature of the
hurling year to date.
Thirdly, hard work was rewarded with
deserved results by a side which struck at least
20 scores in each competitive outing to date
this year. Fourthly, their commitment levels
were, from a supporter’s perspective, off the
No Waterford team I’ve seen in 16 years of
reporting had emptied the tank on successive
outings like this group has. Can that be
sustained for a summer? Who knows?
To not follow up the League win with a
few Championship victories would represent
a major disappointment for Derek McGrath’s
Victory over Cork puts Waterford into an
All-Ireland quarter-final. Win their next two
matches and they’ll advance to an All-Ireland
semi-final. And after a spring of stunning
success, talk of such progress doesn’t belong in
the realm of fantasy.
Thankfully, the ‘hypeometer’ hasn’t been
cranked up too alarmingly in recent weeks, and
one suspects the team will benefit from that.
Nonetheless, roll on Sunday!