Last year I was rather pessimistic going in to the Munster final, envisaging a hammering at the hands of Tipperary in both matches. It lt worked out reasonably well, avoiding the worst in the Senior game and producing the best in the Minor game. A year on and things look a lot rosier. The Minors, quite frankly, should be favourites on the basis of their excellent win over Clare in the first round. Okay, Waterford had home advantage, come in to the game on the back of a bruising encounter with Cork, and Clare will surely have learned a thing or two from their scenic jaunt through the back door. But if we’re going to go on the available evidence, Waterford look the better bet to win what would by my reckoning be our first successful defence of anything at inter-county level.
As for the Seniors, I said at the start of the competition that we had what it took to win the Munster Cup. The available evidence has changed since then i.e. Cork looked really tasty in disposing of Tipp. The prospect of Aisake Ó hAilpín terrorising the Waterford full back line isn’t very appetising, and suggestions that Eoin Kelly might be out are positively stomach-turning. Waterford showed commendable nous in beating Clare in the semi-final though, and the hope that we can have impact players like Ken McGrath on the bench is a strong one indeed.
So let us sally forth with confidence. Winning both Munster titles would not be a unique feat. We’ve done it before – in 1948. Now that is a thought to get the hopes rising.
Update: ho-kay, hopes receeding a little after seeing the ease with which Dublin took Clare today, especially when the supposedly brittle Dubs repulsed that second half comeback. Ominous.