Clinical Tipp rain on Déise's parade
A shower of Tipperary goals broke Waterford hearts at a rain-soaked Gaelic Grounds yesterday.
As dawn broke over Limerick, bringing with it thunderous downpours, apprehension grew in the hearts of Waterford and Tipperary hurling fans hoping to bring home the spoils on Munster Final day.
The thunder boomed, and the rain steamed off the ground, as two giants of hurling squared up.
Waterford turned up the heat after a mere 14 seconds with the first score.
However, a blitz of goals by Tipp in the second half destroyed the Déise's hopes.
Celebrating the Premier County's 41st Munster Final victory, Nenagh native Ger Callinan, whose family runs the Glen Tavern pub in Limerick, signalled Tipp's threat to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny. "If the current Tipp team play well, they can beat anybody in the country."
Ger (48), was up early on Sunday serving breakfast from the bar to waves of Waterford fans who "made the place their own".
"It's a unique opportunity for Waterford fans to come up to Limerick," quipped Ger.
The buzz on Shannonside could still be heard despite the downpours.
But for the travelling Waterford fans, there was to be no happy ending. As the rain poured on and on, an onslaught of Tipperary goals eliminated the Déise threat. The 21-point defeat sunk every Waterford heart.
In the Ardhú pub next to the Limerick sports grounds, Waterford fans commiserated with each other.
"We're heartbroken," said Ken Flynn, a neighbour of the late Ballygunner hurling legend Paul Foley.
Aaron Dempsey, from Mount Zion, was "confident beforehand we could have taken Tipp".
"I rang my mother at half-time and told her we were going to win," he said.
John Breen, of Cullen, Co Tipperary, was more philosophical in victory: "Waterford are afraid to lose, that's what killed them."
"Tipp were clinical. Goals win games," opined Darragh Egan of Bansha.
Meanwhile the bad weather played its part in a windswept Pearse Stadium in Galway, where the Connacht Football Final ended in deadlock between Galway and Roscommon. With the match drawing to a close, the Tribesmen had a narrow lead. However, Roscommon's Donie Smith resurrected his county's hopes with a free, leaving the result a draw.