The Waterford players sank to their knees at the full-time whistle after taking Cork to the brink three weeks ago.
A gruelling effort over 80 minutes of play in Fraher Field wasn’t enough to cause the shock of the summer.
Tom McGlinchey has got them back on their feet in the meantime - both physically and mentally.
“It was disappointing but you can’t wallow in self-pity either. We went back training on the Monday night and that was the best thing we could ever do. Even on the Sunday morning, a good few of the lads went to the sea and got a recovery session in. Everyone was there on the Monday night and we worked hard that week. We had no choice but to put it behind us and we got on with it.”
The illustrious neighbours were on the ropes for long periods that night and McGlinchey pinpointed a couple of wasted opportunities when he reviewed the tape of the game.
“It was definitely a game we could have won, there’s no doubt about that. We missed chances in the first half; we dropped six scoreable chances wide or into the goalie’s hands and that was disappointing. When you look back on the goal Cork got, it was very fortuitous from their point of view. There were a lot of good things we did in the game and we’ve spoken about the mistakes we made at length over the last few weeks.”
The All-Ireland Qualifier draw threw up another team who plied their trade in Division 2 this spring and a first championship collision with Derry this afternoon (Fraher Field 3pm).
McGlinchey scrutinised their Ulster quarter-final loss to Tyrone last month. “I’ve watched it a few times; they played a lot of fellas behind the ball and tried to break at pace. Tyrone are at that game for a long time and Derry just were not at that pace. Having said that, Derry were in a league final three years ago. They’re in Division 3 now (having being relegated on the final day) but they’ve played at a high level over the last number of years. They were in the McKenna Cup final this year against Tyrone. It’s going to be a very different challenge from what we got against Cork.”
The qualifiers hasn’t been the happiest hunting ground for the Déise. They only boast a lone success against London from 15 attempts while the Oak Leaf county are backdoor specialists with 24 wins from 37 games since 2001.
“I know it’s a good few years ago but when they got to an All-Ireland semi-final, they went through the qualifier route. They’ve been in numerous All-Ireland quarter-finals or fourth round games. As it happens, Longford beat them three years ago and Tipperary beat them last year, they seem to get caught by teams from a lower division, whether that’s a good omen for us or not is another thing. They’re going to be a difficult task and I would think they’re probably looking at the Waterford game as a chance to get their season back on track.”
Cork fans made up the majority of the 1,532 in attendance last month in Dungarvan but McGlinchey hopes for a larger home turnout on a big weekend for Waterford GAA. “You’d like to think that we’d outnumber the opposition this time around!”
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