KEVIN MORAN of De La Salle says he and his colleagues are more determined than ever to win the Waterford senior hurling title, having collected their first county only two years ago.
“Obviously we’re delighted to have made it back to the final,” said Moran.
“During the summer we had a little blip, the heads weren’t right, but we’ve rectified that and hopefully we can continue with that on Sunday and win another title.”
If one or two balls had bounced their way last year they might be closing in on a three-in-a-row, as Moran says.
“We were unlucky last year, I thought. For most of the season we were able to come good when we needed to come good, and the county final showed that as well.
“In the end we were pipped in a replay by Ballygunner, and they went on to the Munster club final and were unlucky to lose to Newtownshandrum.
“That showed us how little there was in it, how close we were to getting back to the Munster and All-Ireland club series.
“We’re probably slightly more focused this year, which isn’t to say we weren’t focused last year, but we’re just a small bit sharper and that makes a big difference.”
As Moran says, much wants more.
“We’re conscious that we’ve had a few good years but when you’ve had success you’ll always want that extra bit when you can win it.”
He added: “While we have good players available to us we’ll obviously be trying to get to as many county finals as we can.”
That said, De La Salle aren’t reliant on one underage crop; their team ranges across the spectrum in ages.
“We’ve a good mix alright,” says Moran, currently studying for his H. Dip in Ed. in UCC.
“Take the underage team I played with coming up, there are three or four players off that team at least who’ve won every medal you can win in club hurling in Waterford.
“That’s great experience for a club like De La Salle to draw on.
“Then there are four or five lads who are four or five years older than me, experienced players like Ian Flynn, the captain, and Michael Doherty.
“John (Mullane), the Bull (Bryan Phelan) and Stevie Brenner are well-known to everybody from their time with Waterford, and obviously they provide great experience – so does Derek McGrath, who’s a huge help to the set-up.
“At the other end of the spectrum you have Jake Dillon and Eoin Madigan coming up, they’re young lads but very good hurlers.
Last year’s conquerors are in their sights this season again. Moran and company know what to expect from Ballygunner tomorrow.
“In Waterford there are just twelve teams in the senior championship, so you’re going to know your opponent well anyway,” says Moran.
“Ballygunner would know us as well as we know them, so I don’t think it’ll affect either of us.”
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