It’d be remiss not to mention the footballers as they aim to reach the Munster final for the first time since 1960. On a weekend when the big issue with Clare will be in the hurling, it’s hard not to suppress a smile at the bitterness oozing from every pore of Clare football manager Michael McDermott when asked who would win the match. No problem with the idea that Limerick would win, but he can’t help return to the loss to Waterford and the abysmal refereeing decisions that no neutral observer felt the need to reference. As for being ‘surprised’ should Waterford win, he’d probably be the only one. Speaking for myself, you do indeed wonder whether Limerick’s greater experience will prove telling. But it’d hardly be a shock if Waterford won on the scale of the wins for Sligo and Louth last night.
I’d have no problem slinking in to the party empty-handed and eating and drinking everyone else’s offering, but alas a visit from my in-laws mean I won’t be able to make it. It’s one thing to bring young English relatives to Thurles for a big hurling match, quite another to bring older people to a football match in Dungarvan. So as it has been for all but two matches – Munster semi-final in 1987 against Kerry and a league match in Stradbally against (oh the irony) Limerick back in 1999 which ended in a draw – Waterford will have to do without the pleasure of my company. I dare say they’ll cope.
A spot of bad karma there methinks, as the early red card for Tommy Prendergast surely put Waterford right on the back foot and Michael McDermott has his six point win and more besides. Still, the solution to playing with 14 men for the best part of an hour on a boiling hot day is not to do things that are likely to get you sent off. Hard luck to the footballers, whatever happens in the qualifiers it’s been a stellar year.