Oh, Galway! Two points up with less than three minutes to go and the ball up at Tipperary’s end, yet you still contrived to lose it. So not only do you beat us in the Minor – and showing the kind of courage in the face of adversity that seems to be leached out of the team by the time they reach the Seniors, if this thread on AFR is to believed – you then throw it away for the second year running. Galway supporters took last year’s defeat to Waterford pretty badly, and this can’t feel any better. In fact, losing to Tipperary will probably make it feel worse because if there’s any county more inclined to collectively make you feel bad about losing to them, they probably play football because I can’t think of it.
And now we have that to look forward to, Tipp smugly striding through the back door behaving as if it is their natural entitlement to have a go at Kilkenny again and we’re just an inconvenience to brushed aside. Galway, on the other hand, would have had no such bravado as their wretched record against Waterford demonstrates. So thanks for nothing, Galway. The best that can be said is that if we are going to win the All-Ireland, we’re probably going to have to do it the ‘proper’ way – beat Cork, Tipperary and Kilkenny. Should shut up even the most ornery of our critics.
Update: I feel a bit of a jerk for the above comments having seen John McIntyre’s heart-breaking post-match cri de couer. It serves as a refreshing antidote to the Manichean attitude that prevails in sport, an attitude that has blighted any discussion of Waterford’s achievements over the years. It’s worth looking at in its entirety but the comment at 01:45 – “dreading waking up again in the morning” – would move you to tears.