Ringside and teary-eyed at Bernard Dunne’s dethroning, Davy Fitzgerald (who’d brought in the boxer to talk to the Waterford hurlers immediately before and during their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny) was conspicuous by his absence at Sunday’s county senior hurling clashes at Walsh Park, and later Fraher Field.

Presumably the County Board are more in-the-know that the general Waterford GAA public, who might be wondering what’s happening. Hopefully the scouts for the incoming set-up, whoever they may be, have been out and about.

One thing that’s certain is that Waterford have an embarrassment of riches at the moment in terms of hurling goalkeepers.

Adrian-Power(13)Sunday’s four SHC semi-finalists were able to call on top-class custodians. Lismore’s last line of defence is former county No1 and up-and-coming coach Brendan Landers; Ballygunner had Déise Minor and De La Salle College ’keeper Stephen O’Keeffe between the posts; Mount Sion’s Ian O’Regan, who made a county comeback in this year’s National League, remains ever-reliable; while Ballyduff Upper’s Adrian Power (pictured) is a household name in the making.

The DJ-by-night scored four points in the Duffers’ defeat by Lismore, who, considering Ballygunner’s wastefulness during a bloodless victory over their surprisingly muted city rivals (which owed itself to a vintage Paul Flynn goal) must have half a chance of landing a first senior county title since 1993.

As our west Waterford GAA correspondent Thomas Keane observed, Power’s prodigious length from puck-outs and placed balls makes him a hugely valuable weapon.

In the first half alone at Fraher Field the WIT student struck six long-range frees, sending four, including one from all of a hundred metres, sailing between the Lismore posts. Not only that, but a goal resulted from his first delivery.

“I’m sure hurling buffs will be racking their brains to see when last a goalkeeper had such an influence on the scoring in thirty-plus minutes of hurling,” says Thomas, adding: “It was also worth noting that usually when frees are taken the person taking them tries to steal a few yards and more often then not gets away with it. However Power did the opposite… each time he struck a free he brought the ball a yard or two closer to his own goal, which makes his shooting somewhat more spectacular.”

Whoever the 2010 Waterford manager is will surely be weighing that dimension to his game – in addition to his shot-stopping prowess, also on display – against the dependability that earned Clinton Hennessy an All Star nomination. A certain Ger Cunningham, manager of Ballygunner and a possible Portlairge candidate perhaps, would surely be a fan.

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