Dublin’s draw with Kilkenny had me wondering whether a weird but not altogether unlikely sequence of results could yet propel Waterford into the League final. After crunching the numbers, the answer is ‘not a hope’. Let’s assume Waterford played their remaining two games against Offaly and Galway now. Winning both would leave us on nine points but still behind Kilkenny on points difference. Dublin are currently on eight, so to stay ahead of them we would need them to lose to Cork. To stay ahead of Cork, who would then be on seven points, we would need them to either lose to or draw with Wexford. Should that miracle take place we would still require Tipperary to beat Galway to ensure we stay ahead of Galway, then have Offaly beat Tipperary to ensure we stay ahead of Tipp. In short, it ain’t gonna happen.
So today’s game against Offaly is just for pride. Thanks to the sterling efforts of UibhFhailí.com, Offaly is the only county of whom I have a complete record of their results against Waterford.
We gave them a walkover in our first game against them in the very first National League so didn’t play them for real until the 1966/7 season where they gave us a sound beating in Birr. Since then it has been an even battle, each county with nine wins apiece and no one winning more than two games consecutively. Ah, if only the rest of hurling was like that. Today then is a tiebreaker. The tension will be unbearable.
Sarcasm aside, there’ll be no need to manufacture tension in Dungarvan where both sides desperately need a win, Offaly to maintain their promotion push and Waterford to avoid relegation – Cavan’s win over Louth last night has sent us to the bottom of the table. We’ve never beaten Offaly in football, the record being played seven lost seven according to UibhFhailí.com, so thank goodness we have home advantage. Tom Cunningham, take note.