As some of you may know, I am a staunch Waterford hurling supporter – hurling is one of Ireland’s national games and is arguably the fastest team sport in the world.
Anyway, last night Waterford beat our neighbors, Kilkenny, to make it to the All-Ireland Final in two weeks time.
It was a game of two halves. Waterford were dire in the first half and then got into full flow in the second half, playing like men possessed.
Kilkenny are the masters in this sport over the decades and Waterford haven’t won an All-Ireland since 1959.
Being in the final is one thing but there is an absolute yearning to go one better and win the Championship. It certainly won’t be easy, that’s for sure but this is a Waterford team driven by passion, hard work and inspiration from legendary players of the past who should have All-Ireland medals.
It was such a tense affair last night that I certainly couldn’t watch it on TV but huddled in the kitchen listening to it on local radio. My sprint into Waterford fanatic son and Waterford convert hubby at full-time would have done justice to an Olympic champion not to talk of a winger in hurling.
So there’s a lovely glow over this precious county of mine this morning but we all now need to gather our energies and reserves for the game that lies between us and All-Ireland glory. There will be no mad rush for tickets as games are played behind closed doors at present due to the pandemic.
Listening to the radio commentary reminds me of how my father used to tell me of how radio sets would be placed on window sills in his youth so that the people could listen to games unfold in an era when even radios were relatively uncommon.
Just after the final whistle, I got a text from Big Bro, also very much Waterford but now living in Dublin. It simply said:
Well done Waterford!
He’s in it for the long haul too and both of us have vivid memories of what it meant to our father when his beloved Co. Clare finally clinched the Championship in 1995 after a lifetime waiting.
Hope springs eternal and all the very best to the Waterford lads as they regroup after a battle and a half yesterday.