My views on the Waterford team performance against Limerick
Clinton Hennessy hadn’t a hope with the first goal, a hard shot just inside the post which took a bounce off the wet surface. I’m sure another goalkeeper would have stopped one of both of the other goals. Clinton just doesn’t know how to make himself big in situations like these. Some of his puckouts were poor, flying over the heads of the intended targets. Some of his clearances in the second half were also poorly directed down the middle.
While his inexperience caught him out on a couple of occasions, I thought Darragh Fives had a good game. His first touch is excellent, he has quick hands and is a lovely striker of the ball. Hopefully, this year he is serving an apprenticeship in the corner and will be moved further out next year.
I thought Davy hung Wayne Hutchinson out to dry following just one mistake (even if an expensive enough one). How are you supposed to build a player’s confidence if you treat them like this? Another case of Davy shifting the blame for his own inadequacies onto the players. Hutchinson (or Darragh Fives) should not have been left in isolation the way they were. Davy bought O’Grady’s bait hook, line and sinker.
Noel Connors: Still possibly troubled by leg injury, but good second half and no worries here.
Tony Browne did okay and was tight on his man under puckouts, but he largely confines himself to a covering role these days and we really need more dominant and offensive wingbacks.
Brick Walsh: What can I say except please don’t play him at full back.
Kevin Moran: In and out of the game without ever appearing to be dominant.
Stephen Molumphy: Best game for a long time and really provides leadership when needed. However, inclined not to look up when hitting long balls. Must stay in midfield.
David O’Sullivan: I thought he had a good game overall. His use of the ball (low and weighted balls into the forwards) was very good.
Maurice Shanahan: Had a very good first half but ran out of steam after half-time (understandable given he has been out of action for most of the year) and should have been taken off earlier. He should definitely start in the final – he can score (2-8 for Lismore last weekend) and earn frees through his ability to run at defences.
Shane O’Sullivan had a better game than some people on this site have given him credit for. Kept going right to the end and gave some good ball into the forwards.
Paudie Mahony dominated Wayne McNamara in the first half but was blown away by him in the second. Got two loose second half points but McNamara did terrible damage. Seamus Prendergast should have been put on McNamara when he was brought on with Paudie shifting to the other wing. Nevertheless, a fine display overall.
John Mullane could easily have scored 3-8 given the chances he got. I was surprised to see someone so experienced shooting hastily and without looking. But you still can’t argue against 2-2, including the winning goal.
Shane Walsh: What was he doing out around the sideline late in the game? Davy’s preoccupation with rotating the forwards is getting on my nerves. Different forwards require different types of ball and it helps those outfield if they know in advance who is where. Besides, hitting balls into the corner for Shane to chase is pointless given his lack of pace. Leave him at full forward!
Brian O’Sullivan: Excellent game. Scored two great points, earned the penalty and a couple of other frees and set up several scoring chances.
For the final, assuming Richie Foley is back, I would obviously play him in midfield with David O’Sullivan as a good backup for both wing back and midfield. I presume Liam Lawlor will start at full back with Hutchinson injured. Eoin Kelly looked like he was interested when he came on (he even chased a Limerick player down late in the game and prevented a likely score) but I still wouldn’t start him against Tipp.
There has been no mention at all here of the disgraceful showing of the Waterford intermediate team against Limerick. I wouldn’t blame the players who I believe were recruited less than a fortnight before the game. If the county board aren’t going to take this competition seriously then they shouldn’t enter it. It would be good if the competition were used as a kind of reward to good and dedicated club players who are never going to make the county senior team. Alternatively, it should be used for player development purposes, combining say those players on the senior squad not on the senior match-day panel with under-21 players not in the senior squad. This would provide the players with an incentive to perform and experience of playing in big stadia. There might be a case for having the seniors, intermediates and under-21s under single management with, for example, the senior selectors acting as managers of the other teams.