‘From a Waterford supporter’s point of view just sit back and enjoy it’ – John Mullane hails Déise ‘juggernaut’
After Waterford’s five-goal demolition of Wexford at Nowlan Park saw them reach another Allianz League final over the weekend, the only question to ask is how long will it be before we see silverware on the banks of the Suir once more.
Incredibly, this will be the Déise's eighth final since their 2015 league win, with three Munster showpiece defeats added to two each in All-Ireland and Allianz League deciders.
But despite that run, county legend John Mullane believes it’s a special time for what he called “the best squad in the country” on this week’s The Throw-In podcast, in association with Allianz.
“I know it's only the league but we're in the final now and it's a good time to be following Waterford hurling. That was an amazing performance,” Mullane said.
“Granted, Wexford were well below par but Waterford were just unbelievable. A scintillating performance from start to finish.
“I genuinely thought going into the ground this is going to be tight considering the personnel we were missing, but they reaffirmed and confirmed that we have the best squad in the country. I think both teams that are in the league final probably have the two best squads.
“There were some amazing performances. I thought Tadhg de Búrca was back to his best, Dessie Hutchinson was very good.
“And Austin Gleeson, he's different gravy. The man is just a flawed genius. It's a pity what happened at the end.”
The Déise will have to contest that final without Gleeson after their county board confirmed on Tuesday that they would not appeal the late red card that followed an incident with Wexford defender Simon Donohoe.
It’s certainly a blow to be without the in-form forward, who had grabbed 2-3 of Waterford’s tally on Sunday before his dismissal to take his tally to 3-22 for the season.
But Waterford impressed without Gleeson in their Round 4 win over Tipperary and Mullane sees goals all over the team as they attempt to break their final hoodoo.
“I think Waterford are in a really, really good place and from a Waterford supporter’s point of view just sit back and enjoy this team. Because we're witnessing a special, special team here,” he added.
“Liam Cahill has stated silverware is what they're after. And he also stated once they keep putting themselves in that position of getting to finals that they will eventually get over the line.
“We highlighted that last week and they could break the goalscoring record. I think they're on nineteen goals now. I did predict at the start of the league they could go into the 20 goal rate and I won't be one bit surprised if they hit that 20-goal mark.
“I think they'll get more goals this weekend. They have goals on their mind. They scored five on Sunday, they could have easily gotten seven or eight but look, they went up, they done a professional performance and from Wexford's point of view, you get days like that,
“it was misfortunate and I think they'll get back on the horse again. But when they reflect on it, they've had a decent League campaign.
“I've been there before, when you're not at it, when you come up against a team that are at the peak of their powers - I think this Waterford team now are at the peak of their powers - I think they're ready to do something special.
“Unfortunately for Wexford, they just came across a juggernaut.”