My Waterford Heart is Hurting

Today was the All-Ireland Hurling Final and Waterford were there in a closed stadium trying to win their first All-Ireland since 1959.

We lost to a very strong Limerick team and it was hard going listening to the match on the radio.

I know it’s only a game but it is about a good bit more than that. We have taken all the players to our hearts and know how much they have trained and run themselves ragged on our behalf. What a lonely journey home for them this dark December night. The Championship normally ends in September.

We have had three finals now in recent years but getting our hands on the cup is extraordinarily difficult.

The difference to the county between winning and losing is immense. No, there wouldn’t have been public celebrations and homecomings but we Waterfordians would have walked with our heads held high and has a real sense of pride.

It’s a few hours since the game ended and we are trying to console ourselves that the lads gave their all, left every ounce of energy on the field, will learn from the experience, will live to fight another day.

All these things are true but a little bit of my heart broke today as I suspect that some of my heroes may well retire now without ever getting to savour the victory they worked so tirelessly for.

I just hope the players know that we recognize how hard they tried and how beloved they are and always will be to the vast army of Waterford supporters.

Our colours are blue and white and these are colours that are part of our natural coastal county.

Waterford Waves

It’s by no means the end of the world but it is one of those communally sad days which I hope will make us even more united, determined and thankful.

Deise Abu

One Puck at a Time

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.

Deise Abu