Waterford hurlers put up a good fight in the end against Tipperary, losing by just four points. Letting in three goals in the first half was the major problem. Two of the goals could have been avoided and were the result of defensive mix-ups and bad luck. On top of everything else, despite a great start, the bouncing ball did not favour Waterford on the day. However, great credit is due to the minor hurlers and their management team on winning their first Munster title in 17 years, a super achievement that raised all our spirits and warmed our hearts.
Full marks are due to Waterford supporters for travelling to Thurles in such large numbers. The Deise support is still strong in these hard economic times.
We all need a relief from the constant drip of bad news so the hurling and sport in general is a great release. We may have been disappointed with the finish but the start by the senior squad gave fans much to savour.
Ken McGrath’s absence was notable and some of the more senior players did not seem to play to their full performance. This could be the season for change and, perhaps, there may be some new stars to emerge for the future. John Mullane had an excellent game and is an inspiration for the team. Leading De La Salle to a club final was a fantastic achievement and seems to have added to his confidence and self belief. His opportunistic goal was a match highlight.
For the future, we still have an All Ireland quarter final to anticipate most likely against either Cork or Galway and, perhaps, a semi final and All Ireland outing as well. Waterford may yet surprise everybody with the great displays that we know the players are capable of. We must remain hopeful and be positive. Keep supporting the Deise.