When TG4 were pondering what match to resurrect from the archives in advance of this weekend’s Munster hurling final, they had a few to choose from previous Waterford – Tipperary clashes at this level. Would it be Tipp’s swashbuckling first half performance in the 2009 final? The 100th edition of the final in 1989, broadcast live in an era when only the All-Ireland semi-finals and final were shown live, and producing Kevin Cashman’s memorable description of Waterford as “the Black & Tans in white”? Or would it be the 2002 final when Waterford, according to Ger Canning, brought an end to “29 long years”, without a trophy? It felt like 39, Ger.
And no trophies for guessing which will be shown. Only having this game on VHS, being able to Sky+ it is a big deal. Clare and Wexford both reached the promised land of All-Ireland glory before us, and I’m not going to pretend that not landing the big one hasn’t hurt. But the Banner and the Model have learned that winning one or even two All-Irelands, contrary to heartfelt statements made at the time, doesn’t set you up forever. Only in the moment after the first time do all things seem not only possible, but feel inevitable. Relive the moment on Friday at 7.30pm.