When Liam Cahill took over as Waterford manager last autumn, his first act was to take out his axe and get chopping. A host of names were dropped but when that list included team-captain Noel Connors, and another high-profile casualty, Maurice Shanahan, much of the discussion focussed on Cahill’s reasoning behind those decisions.
So, not all Munster Championship games come with a ticket to the pantheon after all. Yesterday in Thurles the 14,737 in attendance for Cork-Waterford saw a procession of fumbles and fluffed pick-ups, wayward passes and intercepted clearances.
The statute of limitations having elapsed, it’s time the following tale were told. Derek McGrath may be temporarily chagrined at having it revealed to the nation but he’ll cope. He’s coped with much worse in the past fortnight.
So, Cork remain in Division 1A and Waterford are relegated to the second tier. A springtime of false dawns and second comings came to some sort of crescendo in the snow flurries and foot-stampings and hand-rubbings in Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, where the home side’s tús maith was bookended by a críoch maith.
As David Burke’s acceptance speech extended on Sunday, Peter Canavan’s victorious address 14 years previous came to mind. “I’m not finished yet,” the Tyrone great told the masses in front of him. “It took me a long time to get here.”
When defeated in a big game you cannot wait to get a crack at the same opposition, seeking revenge. There’s a matter of pride and unity of purpose involved. This is a powerful stimulus which provides a strong incentive for a committed response.