Thursday 29 September 2016

Waterford's 'headbanging' streak is alive and kicking

Donny Mahoney

Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30

3 May 2015; Man of the match Kevin Moran, Waterford. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1 Final, Cork v Waterford. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
3 May 2015; Man of the match Kevin Moran, Waterford. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1 Final, Cork v Waterford. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

I have a weird fondness for the Waterford team of John Mullane, Paul Flynn and Ken McGrath, and seeing Derek McGrath's tactics in motion and the masterly hurling of young Austin Gleeson on Sunday had me wondering if this Deise side had anything in common with that great team that lit up the noughties.

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That was until Kevin Moran picked up the microphone to address the Waterford faithful after lifting the hurling league cup.

Moran makes victory speeches with the same passion with which he hurls. It was instantly obvious that this Waterford team is cut from the same cloth as its predecessors.

He and 'Brick' Walsh, with Dan Shanahan prowling the sidelines, provide a link to that spirit of manic intensity.

I moved to Ireland in 2004. Their games with Cork over the next four years were some of the most electric contests I'd ever witnessed in any sport.

When Waterford went bad at the start of the decade, I put it down to the decline of a strangely golden generation. New blood inspires their recent success, but it's assuring to know that the 'headbanging' streak in Waterford hurling is alive and kicking.

Irish Independent

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