If memory serves me correct, back in 2008 there was a minor kerfuffle over the timing of Waterford’s clash with Antrim in Dungarvan. Antrim, not unreasonably, hoped the game would have an earlier throw-in so they could get back home at a cilivised hour. The GAA were having none of it. All matches started at 2.30pm on Sunday with exceptions granted only in extraordinary circumstances.
Whatever became of that edict? I ask, not because of the 12.45pm throw-in today (which makes perfect sense given the double header, on which more of anon), or because of a demand for consistency (ad hocery strikes me as being more in keeping with the nature of the Association than giving into the hobgoblins of small minds), but because it can be tricky to keep track of what is going on around you. How many people were unaware that Waterford played Offaly last weekend at 3pm on a Saturday, a start time with an oddly Lutheran feel to it? I know I was unaware that Offaly were playing Limerick last night, which meant it was a minor, if pleasant, surprise to find the
Biffs Faithful had lowered the colours of Stab the Broken Treaty City.
It only makes a small difference to Waterford’s promotion prospects. Rather than needing to win both games, three points will now be enough. While I doubt that anyone goes out with the intention of drawing a hurling match, a small difference is better than none at all. And while I’m hesitant to say that any team ever succumbs to complacency in advance of a match – it was surely losing a man after only a couple of minutes that proved to be Limerick’s undoing rather than a smug belief that they were going to roll Offaly over – it’s no harm to be reminded that this game still needs to be won. Our last (only) loss at home to Antrim in the League was in 1985. If none of the current Waterford team are likely to remember that game, they should remember the abyss into which it proved to be the signpost.
Speaking of good records, an unbeaten one goes on the line at 2.30pm – mine watching the footballers in the League. Yes, I have never seen Waterford lose an NFL match. The proud record reads W0 D1 L0, a draw with Limerick in the late 90’s in Stradbally. Or was it the early 00’s? I was expecting better things from the Waterford footballers this year. The least they can do is give a dig out to such a stalwart follower today.