Back to the coalface 2011

After the champagne of inter-county hurling, it’s back to the real ale that is the County Championship. Just as well I like real ale. The fixtures for the quarter-finals (h/t to the official site) are as follows:

17/9/11 at Walsh Park (3.30pm)
De La Salle v Passage

17/9/11 at Fraher Field (4pm)
Lismore v Tallow

17/9/11 at Fraher Field (5.30pm)
Mount Sion v Ballyduff Upper

18/9/11 at Fraher Field (6pm)
Ballygunner v Fourmilewater

So who do I want to win most and whose win would be the worst case scenario? The criteria haven’t changed from last year:

  • how long have you waited? The longer the better. A string of close misses in the recent past helps
  • have you undergone a rapid rise from the Intermediate / Junior ranks?
  • a slight bias towards counties from way out West to counteract the perception that the city is too dominant
  • Mount Sion will always be last. If that ever changes, we’ll know Waterford hurling has undergone radical change.

With that in mind, here is the kiss of death in order of mortality:

  1. Passage – have never won the title. Ran into the DLS juggernaut last year
  2. Fourmilewater – have never won it, have never even reached the final. Should be the beneficiaries of the way-out-West rule, but are effectively a dual club with The Nire so they do know what it is like to win. Even if it’s only football *ducks for cover*
  3. Lismore – have lost after replays the last two years to Ballygunner, at the final stage in 2009 and the semi-finals in 2010. Deserve a break
  4. Tallow – haven’t won it since 1985, whereupon a great team were decimated by the curse of emigration. It’d be positive if that didn’t happen this recession around
  5. De La Salle – have come closer than any other team to winning the All-Ireland for Waterford. It’d be great if they could have another another shot after their loss to Clarinbridge earlier in the year
  6. Ballyduff Upper – the epitome of the team who rose from nowhere, and I have soft spot for them back in the Mossy Walsh days. But they did win it four years ago. Share the wealth, guys
  7. Ballygunner – lots of recent wins, and for the first time in a while they look ominous at underage level
  8. Mount Sion – no comment necessary

Most of the above is cogged from last year’s equivalent post, which should make it obvious why a new name on the cup would be nice. So it’s a bit depressing to see that Passage must face De La Salle. I hope to be able to bring a report from the match.