Saturday 18 November 2017

Waterford's season continues on upward curve

Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates after the game
Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates after the game Newsdesk Newsdesk

Waterford went back to a more orthodox style of play yesterday and it paid off for them.

They're showing that they have different sides to their game and Derek McGrath isn't afraid to switch it up.

He made some big calls bringing Shane Bennett in and starting Austin Gleeson in midfield but his selections were fully vindicated.

Maurice Shanahan has always been known as Dan's younger brother but I think after this season, it will be the other way around.

He's a big target man and defenders regularly struggle to keep him quiet. His accuracy from the dead ball is excellent and he'll be vital to his side's hopes of causing an upset in the semi-final.

I think of all teams, Waterford won't fear playing Kilkenny. They know them well but, in saying that, a repeat performance of yesterday's first-half display won't be good enough.

Waterford have a League title under their belts and an All-Ireland semi-final to look forward to. Their supporters have to be happy with the progress their side have made this year.

If you'd offer that to them this time last year, they would have snapped your hand off for it.

Dublin will be bitterly disappointed because they had Waterford rattled yesterday. They played well but they're not as far along in their development as Waterford are.

Their forwards aren't as natural either and they need some players to freshen it up next year.

The likes of David Treacy and Cian Boland will improve but Ger Cunningham needs more.

He tried a few things in his first year, some of which didn't come off, but there's enough potential there to build again.

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