WATERFORD veteran Ken McGrath says he wasn’ts urprised by the thrilling finish to Sunday’s Munster SHC final, when Waterford pulled out a last-gasp equaliser against Cork to set up a replay on Saturday evening in Thurles.
Waterford were three points down deep into injury time when they won a 21-metre free which Eoin Kelly hammered goalwards — Cork’s Eoin Cadogan blocked the shot but Tony Browne buried the rebound to level matters.
“The way games between Cork an Waterford have gone over the years it’s no surprise that the game was so tight,” said McGrath, who came on as a second-half substitute on Sunday.
“I always thought we’d get one more chance — even though we were losing with time almost up I felt we might get one more chance of a goal, we’ve scored plenty of them over the years and when the chance came on Sunday we took it, thank God.”
McGrath paid tribute to his clubmate Tony Browne for the goal — and to former clubmate Eoin Kelly for his strike earlier in the game.
“Fair dues to Tony, he’s some man — to get in for the rebound was fantastic. He got a goal for us back in 2002 in a Munster final and who would have thought then that nearly ten years later he’d still be playing, never mind getting goals in a Munster final again?
“Eoin’s goal was vital for us too. We needed a score or two to keep in touch with Cork, and no better man to get a goal — it was a fantastic shot.”
McGrath felt the game only opened up after the break, following a tense opening half.
“I wasn’t playing in the first half and it looked very tight, players weren’t able to make room for themselves. It only really loosened up after half-time.
“By the time I came on with ten minutes to go the play had broken up and it was more along the lines of what you’d expect from a Cork-Waterford game, with plenty of scores, and I thought we finished very well.”
Facing into the replay next weekend, McGrath is positive.
“I know we were the team that came back to get the draw, and sometimes that can be a big blow to the team which was holding the lead, but I wouldn’t think it means much in this case.
“Cork and ourselves are both very experienced teams, and they won’t be that downhearted at conceding a late goal, just as we won’t be over the moon because we equalised.
“There’s a lot of work for us to do in the next few days to get ourselves right for Saturday night, but I’d be optimistic. We might have only played in patches but we were still able to get scores when they mattered.
“I thought we deserved another chance, that we worked hard enough all through the game. I’d be positive about the replay.”
Meanwhile the Munster GAA Ticket Van will be on the road again this week ahead of Saturday evening’sprovincial senior hurling cham-pionship final replay betweenCork and Waterford.
This afternoon it will be at Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick Street, Fermoy (2pm-3.30pm) and Herlihy’s Centra, Main Street, Mallow (4.30pm to 7pm).
Tomorrow, tickets will be on sale from Roche’s Centra, Main Street, Lismore (The Square) (noon to 1pm); Keniry’s Centra, The Square, Tallow (1.30pm -2.30pm) and from Ahern’s Centra, Carrigtwohill (4pm to 6pm).
A public sale of Stand, Terrace and Family tickets for the replay will take place on Thursday night in Páirc Uí Rinn (6pm-9pm).
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