Waterford manager Liam Cahill said Saturday’s first-half display topped last year’s All-Ireland semi-final second-half comeback.
Between the 13th minute and the sounding of Seán Stack’s interval whistle, Waterford outscored their opponents 1-11 to 0-2 to lead by 12 at the break.
When asked if this first-half performance was a level above last year’s second-half comeback, during which Waterford reeled in an eight-point Kilkenny lead to win by four, Cahill replied: “I think so”.
“I know Galway will say they didn't come with what they are capable of coming with, but you can only play the game in front of you and there was a lot to like about Waterford in the first half."
Cahill was proud of the manner in which his 14-man charges responded to having their 16-point lead cut to three as the clock spilled into second-half stoppages.
“The players showed great character. A team of lesser quality and heart could easily have gone under. And they showed it last week at Nowlan Park against Laois, great heart and determination.
“That is what I am seeing in these players every night in training since I arrived in Waterford and that is why they were so irate at exiting the Munster Championship because they didn’t give a true reflection of themselves and their identity.
“For me, I was probably a bit naïve and inexperienced to look for answers in the immediate aftermath of the (Clare) match. I was able to tell the players that, made that mistake, and they showed me today that they are behind me 100%.
“I know people reading this will say he is all about them today when they win and he wasn't as complimentary as he should have been after the exit to Clare in the Munster championship. That's because I know what is in these boys. Will they win every day they go out? I don't know. But can they perform every day better than they did against Laois and the game before, yes, they can.
The manager said they will review Conor Gleeson's red card.
“The sending off wasn’t conducted in full time which is a worry, whether it happened on the stroke of half-time or not, I don’t know, but we’ll have to see it and get behind it because it had a big bearing on us."