Friday 20 October 2017

'They looked nervous' - John Mullane on Waterford's All-Ireland final loss

Former Waterford player John Mullane ahead of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Kilkenny and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Former Waterford player John Mullane ahead of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Kilkenny and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Former Waterford hurler John Mullane said that he thought that the Déise looked nervous during Sunday's All-Ireland final loss to Galway at Croke Park.

Nine points from three-time All Star Joe Canning helped steer Galway to their first All-Ireland final win since 1988, breaking a run of seven consecutive finals without victory.

Meanwhile for Waterford it was the Déise's first trip back to Croke Park in September since their 23-point shellacking at the hands of Kilkenny in the 2008 All-Ireland final.

Derek McGrath's side had reached the semi-finals in each of the last two seasons but finally booked a spot in the final after an 11-point win over Cork last month.

Mullane said that Galway's loss to Kilkenny in the 2015 final had helped Micheál Donoghue's side last weekend and that the Tribesmen's bench ultimately made the diffence between the two sides.

"I thought they were a bit nervous starting off for the first 10 to 15 minutes," Mullane said on The Throw In.

"Galway started like a train. I felt like they probably had the experience of playing in 2015 and 2012. They had the experience of playing on that big, big day.

"They came out of the blocks really strong but the defining moment was Kevin Moran's opportunity to put us two-points up. We were always chasing the game and then when we got ahead, we could have stretched it out to two and asked a question of Galway.

"Galway might have come up with the answers because what effectively happened after that was that they got the next three scores and got momentum with them.

"They got the crowd behind them and the two match winners for them were the two lads off the bench, [Jason] Flynn and Niall Burke."

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