This post will contain no consolation for Ballygunner. In fact, it might make them feel worse. To come from ten points down two-thirds of the way through a match to draw level only to have it slip away from you right at the end is utterly heartbreaking, especially when you factor in how close Newtownshandrum were to playing for over fifty minutes with only fourteen men after Philip Noonan’s (ahem) wild pull on Andy Maloney was only judged to be worthy of a yellow card.
But for those of us for whom the fate of Waterford hurling is the primary concern, there was some solace in the way Ballygunner stood tall when it looked like they were about to be massacred. The constant drip-drip about how Waterford constantly bottle it when it matters does begin to wear everyone in the county down, burrowing its way under the collective skin and resurfacing when, well, it matters. Newtownshandrum’s greater experience probably proved telling in the end, but no one can accuse Ballygunner, and by extension Waterford, of lacking courage.