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.
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.