Say what you will about the Dirty Digger (and you will), Sky+ is a work of genius. Caught between the contradictory impulses to maintain this blog as some kind of semi-serious record of Waterford’s progress and the desire to forget about a sorry result yesterday in sodden Dungarvan, Rupert’s little box of tricks offered a get-out-of-jail-free card – simply rattle through the match at 30x speed. Isn’t everything brilliant?
Actually, it’s surprising what you can glean from such an exercise, especially set against the regular match reports that consist of umming and aahing between the goals because it’s impossible to create a coherent narrative when you’re wrapped up in the excitement. For a start, the quality was surprisingly good given the monsoon-like conditions. Watching it in fast-forward, there was little enough pulling-and-dragging and the game see-sawed with admirable regularity – perhaps a sign that it was a bit bloodless?
The game was also an advert for those who say that goals decide games. Galway’s goal, coming as it was when the sides were evenly matched, would prove significant. Point-for-point up until then, Waterford began to panic a wee bit when points couldn’t get them any closer to their opponents meaning each subsequent Galway score serving to tighten that logical noose. It was like a basketball match where the losers start going for three pointers allowing the winners to nonchalantly take two-points scores with their precious possession.
That was the impression anyway. Another one though was that Galway would have run away with it but for two very jammy goals. Has a player ever looked more sheepish than Eoin Kelly when the first one went in. Had that been the Championship, or even a League game with much at stake, he probably would have chopped down the posts in an effort to stay psyched up.
So once again we see the League’s capacity to be all things to all men. Win, great. Lose, meh. With relegation only marginally more likely than qualifying for the final, the last two games are going to be even more bloodless. Good luck to Davy Fitz trying to read anything into them. He might be better off watching them on Sky.