Of our seven All-Ireland semi-final defeats over the last thirteen years, this was the worst. There was no shame in losing to Kilkenny in 2009. They were on their way to an unprecedented run of four years unbeaten in the Championship (Cork in 1941-44 having lost in Munster but won the All-Ireland thanks to foot-and-mouth travel restrictions) so we lost to a team who could say with a straight face that they were the greatest team ever. And of the defeats in *deep breath* 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007, you felt that if Waterford played any one of them again in the morning that it’d be a 50:50 game.
Today was different. It wasn’t a hammering in the mould of the one Kilkenny dished out to Cork last weekend, but we were soundly beaten. The 1-18 we scored was nothing short of miraculous given the lack of possession. Add in some awful shooting from Tipperary and they’d probably be able to repulse anything this set of players could throw at them. We might be grateful in a few weeks not to be part of a turkey shoot, but the McCarthy Cup seems an awfully long way away right now.