Tuesday 17 October 2017

'We were leaderless on the pitch and on the sideline' - Ken McGrath's damning assessment of Waterford loss

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Three-time All Star and former Waterford centre-back Ken McGrath said that the Déise were 'leaderless on the pitch and on the sideline' during the second-half of Sunday's Munster SHC semi-final in Thurles.

After entering half-time with scores locked at 0-10 apiece, Waterford conceded five straight points in the first 10 minutes after the restart to allow Cork a strong footing to begin the second-half.

Maurice Shanahan caught a lucky break to level the scores with a somewhat fortunate goal on 46 minutes, before Cork scored six of the next seven points to mount a commanding five-point lead.

Colm Spillane's red card with less than 10 minutes to go gifted Waterford a fantastic opportunity to cut Cork's lead as the game entered its' final stages, however, Derek McGrath's side could only muster a further two points through the final 10 minutes as the Déise slumped to a five-point defeat.

Ken McGrath, who won four Munster titles in a 15 year intercounty career with Waterford, attributed a lack of leadership and a lack of creativity in attack as major factors in Waterford's second-half demise.

"Look I'll be honest, it was as as poor of a display as I've seen for a long, long time," McGrath said on RTE's The Sunday Game.

"We looked leaderless in the second-half. We looked leaderless on the pitch and on the sideline to be honest with you.

"Look, the players and management will have to sit down and maybe have a bit of a blowout or whatever and seriously look in the mirror and say 'what's going wrong?'

"That was the one fear I had over the last few years was that defensively, the way we were playing, was that if teams got ahead of us would we come back at them?

"You saw in the second-half that we were rudderless in attack basically. We had no imagination, there was no flair, there was no exuberance.. that's what you'd associate with Waterford teams I've played on.

"We won Munster titles in that time as well, but I think there's definitely a lot of soul searching to go on. It was a very, very poor second-half."

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