A couple of years back a Tipperary work colleague couldn’t resist a dig at how the Waterford Minors won the All-Ireland despite losing twice. I was most upset at such a belittling attitude, and by ‘upset’ I mean ‘amused’ with much in the way of cry-me-a-river pouring forth. It was an odd quirk of the system though, and it’s just gotten quirkier as the Munster Council have put in place rules to ensure everyone gets at least two games, something that hasn’t been possible in recent years in the absence of Kerry. The new setup involves the two quarter-finals being played tomorrow, Waterford v Cork and Limerick v Clare. The winner of each game goes into the semi-finals. The loser of the Waterford-Cork game plays off against Tipperary. The winner of this play-off is the third semi-finalist. The loser of the Waterford-Cork-Tipperary play-off then plays off against the loser of the Limerick-Clare game. The winner of this second play-off takes the last semi-final place.
The bottom line is that Waterford could lose to Cork and lose to Tipperary then beat Limerick/Clare and be in the semi-finals. Assuming there is a back door for the losing Munster finalist, we could lose three games and still win the All-Ireland. If that should happen. the world’s entire stock of microscopic violins would be needed in Waterford. Of course it would be an outrage worthy of sending someone to The Hague if Cork pulled off that trick.