Saturday 20 January 2018

Deise star Mahony set for dramatic comeback

Jackie Cahill

WATERFORD sharpshooter Pauric Mahony is set for a sensational return for the Munster SHC final against Tipperary at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday week.

It was feared as recently as May that Mahony would be ruled out for the entire championship campaign after undergoing surgery on a groin injury.

But the talented Ballygunner hitman has made remarkable progress since then and is back in full training ahead of the provincial decider at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Deise sources have hinted that Mahony (19) may not be fit enough to start, but could make an appearance from the substitutes bench. Mahony scored 0-12 from frees in the county's final two league matches against Galway and Dublin as they preserved their Division 1A status.

The 2010 Waterford young hurler of the year was nominated for an All Star last year on the back of a superb debut season as a senior inter-county player.

Waterford boss Michael Ryan is also remaining optimistic that Darragh Fives will be ready in time -- but the corner- back is nursing a broken finger.

Meanwhile, Waterford's top brass remained silent last night on claims made by Munster Council chairman Sean Walsh that Waterford wanted a financial "sweetner" to play the Munster final at Semple Stadium instead of Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

But it is understood that Deise chiefs are extremely annoyed by Walsh's comments and may come out with an official response after the Munster final.

A county board source revealed: "We were prepared to draw a line in the sand, but he (Walsh) has resurrected it again.

"His comments didn't go down well in Waterford. We weren't worried about a 'sweetener'. Our supporters and players wanted to go to Thurles.

"I'm disappointed with Sean Walsh coming out like this.

"He shouldn't have got involved at this stage, so close to the match."

Irish Independent

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