Kicking people when they are down is never nice, but it’s doubtful that anyone is kicking themselves harder at the moment than the Waterford footballers. For years in both League and Championship we were grateful to Kilkenny for keeping us from the very bottom of the pile. Then something curious happened in 2008. Waterford put together a few wins in the League. All other things being equal, Waterford would have been promoted from Division 4 but for a last minute Tipperary goal. Now, all other thing are not equal and it is unlikely Waterford would have played with the same amount of joie de vivre that saw them beat Antrim in the last round had promotion been at stake. But it was clearly an improvement, and it’s been matched by some excellent performances this year in the League.
To recap: in the League we can compete with Tipperary, now a Division 2 side, and Antrim, this year’s Ulster finalists. So why do things go so badly wrong in the Championship? In 2008 we lost to Clare who had finished way down Division 4 and beaten in the 2007 Munster championship. This year saw a limp performance against Cork followed by a massacre from a Meath team who haven’t being pulling up trees recently. Why do things go wrong? Buggered if I know, but something clearly ain’t right.