When De Le Salle won the Dr Croke Cup in 2008, I wrote about how 13 of the 15 players were from Waterford. Some time later I spotted someone on the GAA Discussion Board talking up the future of Waterford hurling in the face of all the usual comments about impending doom once Tony Browne retired and found myself being quoted as proof. Here’s the thing – while I remember seeing this fact at the time, I haven’t been able to find a reference to it and it’s entirely possible that I misread something or even dreamt it. I worked with the father of one of the players and he was definitely from Waterford, but apart from that I can’t say with certainty that those back-to-back championship-winning De La Salle teams were not stuffed to the gills with Cats slumming it by attending school in the city they hate so well.
And I can’t comment with 100% certainty about the providence of any of the Dungarvan Colleges players either. But I’ve had just enough education to be able to say that most of them are from Co Waterford. I can’t see many people from Youghal/Clonmel/Clogheen sending their children across the Blackwater/Comeraghs/Knockmealdowns to school in Dungarvan. So we have a team of Waterford lads taking on the best Kilkenny has to offer and coming out on top. Twice. At the very least it’s great for a Waterford team, any Waterford team, to be dishing out some humble pie to their opposite numbers in Kilkenny. At the very most hurling in the west of the county is now exceeding the productivity of the east of the county, which wasn’t too shabby to begin with. Whatever scenario is the case, it’s all good. Congratulations to all concerned with Dungarvan Colleges.