Brian Flannery Reports
Strolling along to Páirc Uí Chaoimh literally by the ‘Banks’ and having arrived early for the minor match I had the joy of listening to the great Christy Dignam of Aslan fame completing a sound check ‘Live at the Marquee’. I have similar fun memories of listening to Aslan live at both ‘Club LA’ and ‘South’ (Tramore) in my much younger days. Dignam belted out a fantastic rendition of ‘Crazy World’ for the early attendees.
And what a ‘Crazy World’ we do live in.
Who would have thought that the Munster championship this season would be as dull as dish water and that the Leinster championship would provide the more thrills than a Tayto Park visit.We have had belter of matches this year involving Kilkenny, Galway, Dublin and Wexford while the faltering form of both Clare and Waterford has resulted in six games with double digit margins in Munster.Music aside the fun quickly disappeared. The Déise minors, despite another battling performance, finish their season without a win from their four outings in Munster. Alarmingly Waterford has managed to win just two of their last eleven Minor hurling championship games. The current plight of underage hurling in Waterford should form the central point of any ‘root and branch’ review of where we currently stand.
However all the chatter during the week concerned whether Waterford manager Pauric Fanning could get a tune out his players in their final championship game of the season. Following the calamity of the home game to All-Ireland champions Limerick the axe fell with a number of experienced players and former ‘All-Stars’ being stood down for the trip Leeside.Championship newcomers Calum Lyons, Conor Prunty and Jack Prendergast were joined by debutants Billy Nolan and Darragh Lyons from the start with Shamrocks clubman Colm Roche also tasting championship for the first time from the bench.
The introduction of this sextet was I suspect as much about injecting enthusiasm and energy into the team as planning for 2020. The level of performance against Limerick fell far short of the required level meaning change was both necessary and desirable.Any of the few Waterford supporters present at Páirc Uí Chaoimh among the official attendance of 26,521 will attest to the commitment and fighting spirit shown by the players albeit in a losing effort. Managing to hit 2-17 over the seventy plus minutes too was a significant improvement from the paltry 0-10 recoded just six days previous.
In his post-match interview Manager Pauric Fanning was firm in his commitment to lead Waterford for the second of his two year agreed term in 2020.Fortunes can frequently change quickly in sport. We have seen how high the bar has risen over the last two years and the distance that must be travelled.To succeed we need everyone singing from the same hymn sheet; Players, Management, County Board and Supporters.
One of Aslan’s most recent singles is a song called “I need a little time”.
Perhaps we all could do with a little time to work it out.
Brian Flannery Reports